Kent v Pakistanis, Tour Match, Canterbury, 3rd day

Pakistan top order finds form in drawn game

Mark Pennell at Canterbury

June 30, 2010

Comments: 19 | Text size: A | A

Pakistanis 360 and 264 for 3 (Amin 73, Alam 68*) drew with Kent 259 and 150 for 3 (Denly 69, Shoaib Malik 1-17)
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Umar Gul gets some miles in his legs as Pakistan play out a draw, Kent v Pakistanis, Tour match, Canterbury, June 30, 2010
Umar Gul got some miles in his legs as the game meandered to a draw © PA Photos
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Crease occupation was the order of the day for Pakistan's top-order players as the tourists took time for essential batting practice on an excellent Canterbury pitch prepared for a three-day game that was always destined to end in a draw.

Though their talismanic skipper Shahid Afridi was unable to take advantage of ideal batting conditions - he failed to arrive at the St Lawrence Ground after travelling to London for scans on a niggling rib injury - the majority of his side filled their boots in posting 264 for 3 declared for an overall lead of 365. In Afridi's absence, acting captain Salman Butt called time on the visitor's innings just after 2.15pm, leaving his bowlers 43 overs either side of tea for a gentle work-out.

Butt allowed the pacemen to stretch their limbs and his spinners some time to exercise their spinning fingers, but the sublime playing surface offered them little or no assistance. The overall result was an inevitable stalemate, but at least Kent's makeshift openers Chris Piesley and Joe Denly posted the county's maiden century first-wicket stand this season to lead their side to parity at 150 for 3 when the teams shook hands on a draw.

Both home openers fell in the final throws, Denly for 69 to an ill advised sweep against a quicker delivery from Abdul Rehman then Piesley, seven short of a maiden first-class 50, to a fumbled catch at wicket from another sweep shot. At least the excellent weather throughout the game coupled with young, combative opposition allowed Pakistan to garner almost everything they would have wanted to from this tour warm-up fixture; their only concern of course; Afridi's side strain.

Coach Waqar Younis was quick to play down the injury, saying: "Our physiotherapist has just arrived back from London with Shahid Afridi and the scan showed a small muscle rupture in his side. He has been asked to rest for two days and have some treatment, then we will reassess things, but we're hopeful he will be fine."

The final day started with a near faultless batting performance from Fawad Alam, who cantered through the opening session to reach an unbeaten 68 with Umar Amin as the second-wicket partners added 141 in 36.4 overs.After posting an attractive 72-ball half-century, Amin finally went after 170 minutes for 73. Leaning back to pull a top-spinner from Mark Lawson, the left-handed top-edged gently to deep mid-wicket.

Alam's 50 came in a shade over two hours from 101 balls and with seven fours as Lawson, bowling in tandem with off-spinner James Hockley, started to restrict scoring opportunities and cause a few problems. Alam retired out during the lunch interval and Kamran Akmal (2) went soon after the resumption when edging an attempted push-drive off Lawson to Azhar Mahmood stationed at slip.

It was plain-sailing for the visitors thereafter as Shoaib Malik enjoyed 'centre practice' to score 48 from 58 balls without breaking sweat, while Mohammad Aamer showed his potential as an all-rounder by hitting 44 from 49. The teenager finished the innings in style, hitting Hockley for two successive sixes before striding off for the declaration.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (July 3, 2010, 21:32 GMT)

FAWAD ALAM IS A GOOD PLAYER,BUT THEY R NOT ALLOWING HIM TO SETTLE DOWN,Y,I DON'T KNOW,BUT TEY R MISHANDLING A GR8 1

Posted by   on (July 2, 2010, 13:01 GMT)

I dont understand the strategy of team management wrt to fawad alam .. i prefer him in test and ODI because he played with straight bat which is acknowleged by ppl critizing him ... whenever he has giive opportunity to play in test he played at 3rd position but unfortunately he always selected for T20 and bat at 7th position ... what a startegy?

Posted by Avicenna on (July 1, 2010, 20:36 GMT)

@ Roy Jawad & VEIL what Fawad Alam was doing in the team is to slap on the faces of his opinionated adversaries like you guys. Moreover, if the pitch was so docile why not the great batsman Mr. Salman Butt could do anything on it??? The act of calling him back "retired out" further proves that how much politics and injustice has prevailed in the team. It is a plain fact that an unbeaten century from him would have proved the absurdness of his exclusion from the test-squad, and would have also made the presence of many "senior failures" in the team further questionable.

Posted by iftikhar93 on (July 1, 2010, 16:10 GMT)

Its good to know that the batsmen's find there form but the main thing is this that whether they will retain it. This tour is'nt easy for them and if they want to keep their fame and respect then they should perform well, England and kangroos both are the best. They should perform well in both of the innings. My best wishes are with my country.

Posted by nadeem5GNewKarachi on (July 1, 2010, 14:06 GMT)

over the last two and half decades Pakistan performed well in england. We hope they will continue with their best. The players are always tried their best to perform well in england because their worth gone sky high to perform in england. As a Pakistani my all good wishes to all my players.

Posted by aahd81 on (July 1, 2010, 11:45 GMT)

Its a 'sublime' pitch if it offers the bowlers no assistance? Mark Pennell, please try and remember cricket is about the ball and the bat...not just the bat. Calling a flat track a sublime pitch betrays a lack of knowledge, which I am sure is just a slip but still...do remember the basics. Thanks.

Posted by Riz.Khan on (July 1, 2010, 6:32 GMT)

@ Roy Jawad Hussain; you should see the score card VC Salman butt just score 26 & 9 its a test match in which you had to stick on wkt. what is salman is doing here if you compare slaman & fawad on field fawad drop catch is rare salman take a catch is also rare

Posted by VEIL on (July 1, 2010, 6:24 GMT)

I AGREE WITH JAWAD HUSSAIN THAT FAWAD ALAM SELECTI0N IN THE PLAYING XI BEY0ND OF THINKING., THERE ARE MANY YOUNGSTER LIKE ASAD SHAFIQUE, ASIM KAMAL, YASIM HAMID SHOULD BE INCLUDE RATHAN THAN THIS WASTED ALAM...,. .

Posted by   on (July 1, 2010, 4:42 GMT)

hmm.... good start by pakis. lets c what haapens against "international cktrs".

Posted by pakii123 on (July 1, 2010, 1:47 GMT)

good overall performance by the pakistanis. hope afridi gets better and they continue this form in the real games.

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