October 31, 1999

Pakistan snatch first innings lead against Queensland

Queensland scored 274 on the first day of their four-day match against Pakistan on Saturday. The game, Pakistan's last before the First Test, is the first first-class match to be played at the Queensland Cricket Assocation's headquarters at Allan Border Field in Brisbane.

Queensland captain Stuart Law won the toss and elected to bat on Saturday morning, with Wade Seccombe resuming his place as wicketkeeper following the sudden retirement from all levels of cricket of Ian Healy on Thursday. Mohammad Wasim is in the Pakistan eleven after being hospitalised on Thursday night with food poisoning, the result of eating a prawn.

Jimmy Maher dominated the morning session, scoring 70 of the 114 runs added before being the fourth batsman out. Mushtaq Ahmed took three wickets as Queensland slumped to 5/128 before Andrew Symonds took to the attack. Symonds brought up his half-century in 59 balls, and hit a total of four sixes all off the bowling of Mushtaq before being trapped leg before wicket by Shoaib Akhtar. Symonds, who with his ability to bowl both fast-medium and off-spin could be seen as an alternative to Colin Miller in the Test side at some stage this season, scored 78 from 81 balls.

Mushtaq Ahmed staked a claim for a First Test berth taking 4/103 against Queensland, though he was expensive, conceding runs at the rate of nearly five an over. Shoaib Akhtar took 2/60.

Pakistan, needing to face nineteen overs on Saturday evening, lost two early wickets. Mohammad Wasim was out to a questionable catch by wicketkeeper Wade Seccombe off Andy Bichel for a duck, while fellow opener Ijaz Ahmed was dismissed for 3. Pakistan returned to the pavillion on 50 for 2 at stumps.

Early on Sunday morning, Adam Dale claimed the wickets of Inzamam ul-Haq (37) and Yousuf Youhana (0). Abdur Razzaq (35) fell to a stumping off the bowling of new left-arm spinner Matthew Anderson, and Pakistan were 95 for 5. Azhar Mahmood (83 from 150 balls) and Moin Khan (70 from 83 balls) to add 130 runs for the sixth wicket. The two were dismissed from successive deliveries in consecutive overs, the wicket-takers being Bichel and Symonds respectively.

Saeed Anwar, who had been battling a stomach disorder, came into bat at number eight and scored 29. Wasim Akram made a subdued 21 not out, harvesting the strike just long enough to nudge Pakistan into the lead. Adam Dale finished 5/58 to keep his outside chances of a Test place alive. Pakistan dismissed for 276, a lead of two.

In failing late afternoon light, the Queensland second innings began with Shoaib Akhtar bowling three consecutive bouncers to Jimmy Maher. The umpires duly decided that was enough for the day. Two more days remain of this match, with the First Test against Australia beginning across Brisbane at The Gabba on Friday.