Pakistan handed debut to mystery spinner Abrar Ahmed against England in the second Test in Multan ahead of a prolific first-class season. The bespectacled tweaker made several records in his first international outing against a high-flying England batting line-up and at one stage it looked like he would take a perfect ten.
But it didn't happen as Zahid Mahmood claimed the last three wickets but Abrar's 7/114 is still a remarkable effort on debut.
Abrar was presented his Test cap by another legendary Pakistan spinner Saqlain Mushtaq. He made an immediate impact as he cleaned up Zak Crawley in just his fifth delivery in Test cricket.
Abrar went for runs as England played as they play but wickets came in regular intervals. In a 33-over first session, England scored 180 runs and lost five wickets, all going to Abrar. England's 180 was the highest runs ever scored before lunch on the first day of a Test match. On the other hand, Abrar became only the second spinner in the history of Tests to claim a five-wicket haul before lunch on the first day. The first spinner to achieve the feat was Alf Valentine of the West Indies against England in Manchester way back in 1950.
Abrar is only the seventh bowler on Test debut to take the first five wickets to fall for their teams and the first one since John Lever in 1976.
Abrar's 7/114 is the third-best bowling figures for Pakistan on Test debut in an innings. The only other Pakistan bowler to take five wickets on his first day in Test career is Wahab Riaz. That was also against Pakistan at the Oval in 2010.
Before his debut, the 24-year-old spinner expressed his desire to take a five-for on debut including the scalps of Joe Root and Ben Stokes. Well, he got their wickets on his own. Root was trapped leg-before and Ben Stokes was bowled.
Next up, he will be seen donning the Comilla Victorians shirt in the upcoming Bangladesh Premier League 2023.