Pak­istan in­clude Sha­heen for NZ Tests

Gulf Times Sport - - CRICKET -

Pak­istan’s se­lec­tors yes­ter­day in­cluded teenage pace sen­sa­tion Sha­heen Shah Afridi in a 15-man squad for the first two of the three Tests against New Zealand start­ing in Abu Dhabi next week.

The 18-year-old has been in a devastating form in the on­go­ing one-day se­ries in United Arab Emirates, taking 4-46 and 4-38 in the two matches so far. The third and fi­nal one-day in­ter­na­tional is in Dubai to­day.

He also took 3-20 in a Twenty20 match against New Zealand and four wick­ets in two Twenty20 internationals against Aus­tralia last month, also in UAE.

The sen­sa­tional pace bowler emerged on the scene last year, taking 8-39 in an in­nings in his first class de­but, the best-ever fig­ures by a Pak­istani bowler in his first match.

Pak­istan and New Zealand play the first Test in Abu Dhabi November 16-20. The sec­ond match will be in Dubai November 24-28 while the fi­nal Test is also in Abu Dhabi December 3-7. A squad for the fi­nal Test will be an­nounced later.

“Sha­heen has been in­cluded in the squad keeping into ac­count his cur­rent form,” said chief se­lec­tor In­za­mam-ul-Haq In­za­mam. “He has impressed with his bowl­ing.”

Fast bowler Mo­hamed Amir is still side­lined af­ter his re­cent poor form while an­other pace­man Wa­hab Riaz was dropped af­ter be­ing wicket-less in the first Test against Aus­tralia last month.

Also left out of the squad is opener Fakhar Za­man who made his de­but in the sec­ond Test against Aus­tralia in Abu Dhabi last month, scor­ing 94 and 66 — ap­par­ently to rest his knee in­jury.

Left-han­der Saad Ali was se­lected again af­ter his fight­ing hun­dred for Pak­istan ‘A’ against New Zealand ‘A” in Abu Dhabi this week but there was no place for Shan Ma­sood who hit cen­turies in each in­nings of the first side game be­tween the “A” teams in Dubai last month.

SQUAD: Sar­fraz Ahmed (cap­tain), Mo­hamed Hafeez, Imam-ul-Haq, Azhar Ali, Haris So­hail, Asad Shafiq, Babar Azam, Saad Ali, Yasir Shah, Bi­lal Asif, Mo­hamed Ab­bas, Has­san Ali, Sha­heen Shah Afridi, Fa­heem Ashraf, Mir Hamza.

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