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October 18, 2011
Junaid Khan, the Pakistan left-arm seamer, who picked up his maiden five-wicket haul in international cricket on the first day of the first Test against Sri Lanka in Abu Dhabi, has said he is keen on filling the void left by Mohammad Amir, who hasn't played for Pakistan since the spot-fixing controversy broke out last year. Junaid, 21, who plays for Abbottabad on Pakistan's domestic circuit, grabbed 5 for 38 to bowl out Sri Lanka for 197 in conditions favourable for batting and put his team in control.
"I will do my best to fill the void and do as well as my team needs," Junaid said after the day's play. I am delighted with my effort but all the bowlers did well, no one man can get a team out."
His wickets included the two Jayawardenes: Mahela was caught stabbing to slip while Prasanna was cleaned up by a superb yorker. There was a bit of assistance from the track, Junaid said. "There was a little bit of seam early but otherwise, I used the yorker and mixed the bowling up. It's pleasing to get them out for a low score."
Junaid has toured with Pakistan's youth teams and also played for Lancashire. He was grateful to some of Pakistan's fast-bowling greats, whose guidance he's received and benefitted from. "I am quite lucky that way. During the  World Cup, there was Aaqib Javed and Waqar, and alongside them Wasim also gave tips on how to bowl. I started playing cricket only after watching Imran.
"When I went to Lancashire, Wasim used to call me and tell me how to bowl, how to use the conditions," Khan said. "That stint was very helpful. There I learnt how to seam, how to swing the ball, how to bowl a yorker."
Angelo Mathews, who top-scored with 52 for Sri Lanka, said the track was a good one for batting and admitted Sri Lanka batted poorly. "We lost our way in the second session, the batsmen did not bat well," he said. "The second session made a huge difference where we lost about six wickets in four-five overs.
"It was a pretty good batting wicket. Whoever hits the wicket hard had a bit off a nip off the wicket. All in all it was a very good wicket, Khan did hit the deck hard and got the reward."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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