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Pakistan A v England XI, Lahore

Razzaq delighted with victory

Osman Samiuddin at Lahore

December 7, 2005

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Bazid Khan hit an unbeaten 90 to carry Pakistan A to victory © Getty Images

Pakistan A's thrilling one-wicket win over England wouldn't have been the only news to have pleased the Pakistan selectors from the Bagh-e-Jinnah in Lahore. Abdul Razzaq, who captained Pakistan A and is expected to play a key role in the ODI series, came through his first match after missing the Test series due to an elbow injury.

Although he only made eight and picked up one wicket from five overs, Razzaq was satisfied with his performance. "This was a practice match and as captain I had to look after the team performance. I wasn't too concerned about my performance. I treated it as practice. I was under a little pressure with my bowling because I hadn't bowled for some time but I am happy I came through it."

The defeat is England's fourth in their last five games on the tour, including the Test series. Razzaq insisted that although it was only a practice game, the Pakistan camp would take some confidence from it going into the ODI series that begins from Saturday.

"We should get some confidence out of this for the one-day series. I said before the match it was an opportunity to gain a psychological advantage over the England team and hopefully this result should help us. You win at any level of the game and your confidence increases. I guess they must be under some pressure now because a loss is still a loss at any level. And we must be happy because our A team has beaten them."

Bazid Khan, son of Majid and a regular in the Pakistan squad this year, scored an unbeaten 90 - off 88 balls - to guide his team home with one ball and one wicket to spare. Off the fourth and fifth balls of the last over Bazid hit two boundaries, one a ramp over the wicketkeeper's head and one through the covers to seal it.

Razzaq praised his efforts as well as others in the team, such as Raffatullah Mohmand (who scored a fifty and has attracted Inzamam-ul-Haq's attention with his domestic performances this season), who are close to national selection. "Bazid played very well. He was a little slow to start with but paced his innings at the end very well. He played his shots at the right time. He won the match for us. The boys generally did well. Some of them are close to selection and performed when they needed to. The selectors will be very happy with their contribution."

Osman Samiuddin is Pakistan editor of Cricinfo

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Osman Samiuddin Osman spent the first half of his life pretending he discovered reverse swing with a tennis ball half-covered with electrical tape. The second half of his life was spent trying, and failing, to find spiritual fulfillment in the world of Pakistani advertising and marketing. The third half of his life will be devoted to convincing people that he did discover reverse swing. And occasionally writing about cricket. And learning mathematics.
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