Pak­istan make steady start in Som­er­set opener

Pakistan Observer - - SPORTS -

LONDON—Shan Ma­sood guided Pak­istan to 79 for one at lunch on the first day of their open­ing tour match of Eng­land at Taun­ton on Sun­day.

Ma­sood was 35 not out and Azhar Ali 17 not out af­ter the loss of Mo­ham­mad Hafeez.

This was Pak­istan’s first first-class match on English soil since their con­tro­ver­sial ‘spot­fix­ing’ tour of 2010.

Dur­ing that year’s Test against Eng­land at Lord’s, Mo­ham­mad Amir and Pak­istan new-ball part­ner Mo­ham­mad Asif bowled no-balls to or­der on the in­struc­tions of their cap­tain Sal­man Butt as part of a sting op­er­a­tion car­ried out by a tabloid news­pa­per.

All three re­ceived five-year bans from cricket and, to­gether with sports agent Mazhar Ma­jeed, jail terms.

How­ever, Amir re­turned to in­ter­na­tional cricket ear­lier this year and could make his Test come­back at Lord’s where Pak­istan face Eng­land in the first of a four-Test se­ries on July 14.

Amir was in­cluded in the Pak­istan side se­lected for the three-day match against Som­er­set.

But his re­turn to bowl­ing com­pet­i­tively in Eng­land was de­layed by Pak­istan cap­tain Mis­bah-ul-Haq’s de­ci­sion to bat first against Som­er­set af­ter win­ning the toss.

Mo­ham­mad Hafeez was on nought when he sur­vived a con­fi­dent lbw shout from Som­er­set and Scot­land seamer Josh Davey.

Hafeez later hooked Davey over fine leg and pulled him over mid-wicket for two sixes in as many balls.

He was then re­prieved by Davey on 17 when the bowler dropped a re­turn catch.

But Dutch bowler Paul van Meek­eren made the break­through when he bowled Hafeez for 20.

Left-han­der Ma­sood, play­ing strongly off his legs had struck six fours in his 91-ball knock come lunch.—AFP

Peter Sa­gan of Slo­vakia, cen­ter, crosses the fin­ish line ahead of Frances Ju­lian Alaphilippe, right, to win the sec­ond stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 183 kilo­me­ters (113.7 miles) with start in Saint-Lo and fin­ish in Cher­bourg-enCo­tentin, France on Sun­day.

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