World Test Championship

Duckett swats away 'mystery spinner' tag for debutant Abrar


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Abrar Ahmed stunned the cricketing world with his bowling performance but England opener Ben Duckett has dismissed the tag of him being a 'mystery spinner'.

Abrar making his debut registered stunning figures of 7/114 in 22 overs, helping Pakistan bowl England out for 281 in Multan. His performance was the third-best haul in an innings by a Pakistan bowler in their first Test. This marked a remarkable debut for the tweaker, who many have labelled as a mystery spinner. 

Ben Duckett, who scored a quickfire 49-ball 63, was one of Abrar's victims but refused to label the debutant as a mystery spinner. Speaking  to Sky Sports after the match, Duckett said describing Abrar's bowling style, "I can only talk individually and I obviously had my plans for him. He was basically a legspinner who had a good googly; there was no real mystery to it."

Duckett praised the spinner but issued a warning that England will go even harder at him in the second innings in Multan. "He bowled beautifully today and I'm sure we'll have our plans in the second innings - but I'm pretty sure that we won't be blocking it." 

Duckett also claimed that most of the England batters picked up Abrar's subtle variations but the spinner bowled beautifully on the day. "I think I swept about 90% [of the time] and when you're sweeping, you don't tend to necessarily look for it, but his googly was a lot slower.

"In general, most of the guys actually said they did pick him. I think he just bowled some nice deliveries and unfortunately for us, it was his day," Duckett concluded. 

England continued with their aggressive approach in Multan, scoring 281 before Pakistan ended the day on 107/2, with skipper Babar Azam still unbeaten to leave the Test finely poised. 


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