May 25, 2001

Pakistan beat Leicestershire by an innings in two days

Leicestershire were sent spinning to an innings defeat in two days as the Pakistan tourists warmed up for next week's Second Test at Old Trafford in impressive style at Grace Road.

After being routed by pace in their first innings, Leicestershire were undone by spinners Saqlain Mushtaq and Mushtaq Ahmed in the second.

They were bowled out for 172, losing their last eight wickets for 84 runs to crash to defeat by an innings and 26 runs.

Such a comprehensive defeat did not seem on the cards at the tea interval when Leicestershire were 72 for two after a stand of 71 between Iain Sutcliffe and 20-year-old debutant Ashley Wright.

But when Wright was out just before tea for 30 and Sutcliffe was bowled round his legs by Saqlain soon after the interval, the collapse began. Both Saqlain and Mushtaq weaved their magic and the inexperienced home side were not up to the challenge.

Saqlain took four for 37 in 18.3 overs and Mushtaq four for 41 in 15 overs. Darren Stevens made 24 before being bowled by a fizzer from Saqlain, and wicket-keeper Neil Burns hit an unbeaten 28.

There was no denying the tourists however, although they would surely have preferred a tougher challenge ahead of the Test.

But at least their bowlers are firing on all cylinders. The same cannot be said of their batsmen. They will have been disappointed to lose their last six wickets for 49 runs as the Leicestershire attack stuck to their task and bowled them out for 294.

Yousuf Youhana batted well to make 80 before being last man out and Faisal Iqbal top scored with 83. The signs are that England could face a tougher task at Old Trafford than they did at Lord's.