Khawaja showed Aus­tralia the way to de­ci­pher Asif mys­tery

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - - HTSPORTSMAX - IAN CHAP­PELL

wick­ets at an av­er­age of nine. That in­cluded 19 wick­ets (9 and 10) on a specif­i­cally pre­pared Old Traf­ford dust bowl.

When I played my one game for Lan­cashire at Old Traf­ford in 1963, I asked the hu­mor­ous and re­fresh­ingly hon­est grounds­man Bert Flack about that pitch; “Oooh ‘twere a bluddy bad un,” he replied with a chuckle. “Them’s at ‘ead­quar­ters (Lord’s I as­sumed) told me t’ pre­pare a bleedin’ turner,” he con­tin­ued with a grin, “and a bleedin’ turner ’t were.”

Not sur­pris­ingly, mod­ern Aus­tralian teams are of­ten greeted with “bleedin’ turner’s” but mi­nus the hu­mor­ous ad­mis­sion from lo­cal au­thor­i­ties. The pitch in Dubai how­ever could only be clas­si­fied as a mild turner; it was far from a spit­ting co­bra and ap­peared to hi­ber­nate on the last day.

AFP

Us­man Khawaja’s 141 forced a draw against Pak­istan in the Dubai Test de­spite debu­tant off­spin­ner Bi­lal Asif’s first­in­nings haul.

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