May 23, 2001

Saleem warms up nicely for Second Test

Saleem Elahi shook off the disappointment of bagging a pair in the First Test at Lord's to lead the Pakistan tourists to a comfortable win over Leicestershire in their one-day clash at Grace Road.

Set a target of 226 the tourists cruised to a seven-wicket victory with 7.2 overs to spare, Elahi top-scoring with a classy unbeaten 108.

With fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar claiming four for 37 in his 10 overs it was a satisfying day's work for the Pakistanis and they will hope to continue in this vein in the four-day Vodafone Challenge match also against Leicestershire.

With the sun on their backs they certainly looked in good form as they prepared for the Second Test at Old Trafford next week.

Shoaib, still searching for full match fitness, produced an excellent opening spell in which he took three wickets for 14 runs in six overs before Ben Smith, Darren Maddy and Iain Sutcliffe provided the Leicestershire innings with some respectability.

Smith, captain for the day in the absence of the injured Vince Wells, led the way with a superb century off 114 balls with 11 fours, sharing a stand of 65 with Maddy and 108 with Sutcliffe.

The left-handed Sutcliffe was eventually dismissed with an express delivery from Shoaib which sent the middle stump cartwheeling, and Leicesershire totalled 225 for seven.

With Elahi in dashing form the tourists made light work of the challenge. They lost Imram Farhat for seven in the fourth over, but then Elahi and Faisal Iqbal put on 86 before Iqbal was caught at deep mid-wicket.

Although Leicestershire rang the changes they could do little to curb the flow of runs from Elahi who reached his century off 103 balls by hitting three successive fours off seamer Jon Dakin.

When he struck the winning boundary off Darren Stevens, Elahi had hit 16 fours and faced 114 balls.