Teen Naseem survives fiery baptism
AN extraordinary debut for 16-year-old Naseem Shah started with an emotional presentation of his first Test cap for Pakistan and involved him digging out a hat-trick ball from one of the world’s leading bowlers on hostile turf.
It culminated with the teen fending at a short ball and giving Mitchell Starc a return catch to end Pakistan’s innings at 240 and finish the first day of the series.
Naseem’s inclusion in Pakistan’s XI for the first Test at the Gabba made the rookie fast bowler the youngest player to make his Test debut in Australia.
It all happened little more than a week after his mother’s death in Pakistan, and Naseem wiped away tears after one his country’s greatest bowlers, Waqar Younis, presented him with his cap before the start of play yesterday.
It was as daunting a debut as he could have received, with Australian fast bowler Josh Hazlewood saying it would be intimidating for anyone.
Naseem got off the mark, hit a Starc full-toss to the boundary, and put on 13 for the last wicket.