May 9, 2001

Pakistan fight back but it's Dumelow's day

Azhar Mahmood saved Pakistan from embarrassment with an unbeaten 80 after an unknown off-spinner wrecked their batting at Derby.

Nathan Dumelow, a 20-year-old making his first-class debut, took four wickets, three in 19 balls, as the tourists crashed from 101-1 to 182-9.

But Mahmood and Shoaib Akhtar shared a last wicket stand of 80 to give Pakistan a lead of 96 and by the close, Derbyshire were 66-2 in their second innings.

As well as Mahmood batted, the day belonged to Dumelow whose only other taste of senior cricket had come on Monday in the Benson & Hedges Cup at Leicester.

To bowl for 22 overs unchanged against top players of spin was a superb effort and he thoroughly deserved his success after his second ball was hit for six by Imran Farhat.

He kept his nerve and flighted the ball to take the prize wickets of Yousuf Youhana and Inzamam-ul-Haq before he bowled Abdur Razzaq second ball for a duck.

Derbyshire rate him highly and skipper Dominic Cork said: "He is a wonderful talent. There are some good players of spin among those victims."

Pakistan will be concerned at the way they struggled against a weakened county team but will be encouraged by the performance of Mahmood who played well in a crisis.

Unfortunately there were some incidents off the field when a small number of Pakistan supporters were ejected from the County Ground after bottles were thrown from a stand.

No one was hurt but the club's chief executive John Smedley said: "We are sorry it came to this, I don't think anyone knows what started this off."