May 13, 2001

Saeed Anwar hits double-hundred as Pakistan openers run riot

Mark Pennell of Kent Messenger Group

A stunning double century by Saeed Anwar lit up the second day of Pakistan's three-day Vodafone Challenge match against Kent in Canterbury.

Anwar plundered 138 of his 201 runs in boundaries - including three consecutive sixes off acting Kent captain Min Patel - as he and Saleem Elahi (94) put on 307 in an opening stand covering 71 overs.

Both Anwar and Elahi batted for 279 minutes, scoring their runs at a run-a-minute, to clatter Kent's weakened attack to all parts of the St Lawrence ground.

The partnership and the innings came to an end when Anwar, five balls after reaching the second double century of his career, toe-ended and attempted drive against Amjad Khan to sky a catch to James Golding at mid-off.

Pakistan immediately declared their first innings, just six runs behind, leaving Khan to reflect on a tough first-class debut and his maiden first-class wicket at a cost of 46 runs from just 8.2 overs.

Elahi was always prepared to play second fiddle to Anwar's virtuoso innings, sadly missing out on a century when his side declared after a 197-ball knock that included 10 fours.

Afterwards Pakistan's assistant coach Darryl Foster praised Saeed Anwar's innings.

"It was a great two hundred and it was the perfect leader you could have before a Test match. You couldn't ask for much more," he said.

"It was a very big confidence booster for him and the Pakistan team to know that they have one of their top batsmen in such good nick with the Test coming up.

"It is a marvellous pitch and we have had some excellent batting conditions and now on the final day some of the other batters can have a hit."

In the final session of play Kent extended their lead to 100, but lost three wickets in the process. Saleem Elahi had to leave the field for treatment having been struck on the head whilst fielding at short leg.

David Fulton top-scored for the hosts with 40, but Ed Smith fell to the final delivery of the day, stumped off Saqlain Mushtaq.

First day centurion, Robert Key, endured a contrasting experienced today. Dismissed for 21 in the second innings, he also put down a sharp chance in the gully offered by Anwar when he had scored 83, with Trott being the unfortunate bowler.