Lions will have to win decider to take series
Pakistan A set up a decider in their unofficial one-day international series against England Lions after winning the fourth match by 181 runs in Abu Dhabi yesterday.
The Lions’ decision to field after winning the toss backfired as the Pakistanis racked up 335 for four courtesy of Adil Amin’s unbeaten 120 as well as half-centuries from Shan Masood, Ali Imran and Mohammad Rizwan.
The prolific Rizwan continued his fine recent form with 73, adding to limited-overs scores of 141 not out and 98, plus 58 in the first-class match against the Lions.
The Lions struggled in their reply, slipping to 42 for five in only the 11th over when their captain, Somerset’s Lewis Gregory was bowled by Waqas Maqsood first ball.
Although Alex Davies made 42 and Mark Wood chipped in with 24, the Lions were dismissed for 154 in the 32nd over as Maqsood took five for 32.
Somerset have confirmed that batsman Azhar Ali will be returning to the County Ground in 2019.
The former Pakistan captain will be available for selection for the duration of both the Specsavers County Championship and the Royal London One-Day Cup.
The 33-year-old, who has announced his retirement from international white-ball cricket, made a big impression both on and off the field for Somerset in 2018. He scored over 400 runs in seven County Championship matches, with a best of 125.
Somerset’s 28-year-old Scotland international all-rounder Josh Davey and wicketkeeperbatsman Tom Banton, 20, have signed contract extensions which will see the pair remain at the County Ground until at least September, 2020.
Davey was one of Somerset’s stand-out performers during 2018, when he claimed 34 Championship wickets at an average of just 25.35.
Banton made his first-class debut against Surrey at Taunton in September. He has played 13 first-team games.