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Cricket | Domestic Cricket

Asad Shafiq © Gallo Images

Pakistan boost confidence with easy win

The Pakistan touring team romped home to a ten-wicket win against the Emerging Cobras team in their two-day tour match at the Western Province Cricket Club on Monday. There were some good performances with the bat, particularly an unbeaten 74 from Younis Khan, while Mohammad Irfan had a match haul of 7-40.

On a difficult first-day pitch, the Emerging Cobras were dismissed for 156. By close of play Pakistan had replied with 127 for four, Misbah-ul-Haq unbeaten on 44. The skipper retired overnight. leaving Asad Shafiq to claim the top score with an unbeaten 45, made off 96 balls. Tanvir Ahmed hit out, clearing the boundary twice on his way to 22.

Johan Bothma was the best of the Emerging Cobras bowlers with 3-24. The lanky Brendon Young also troubled the batsmen, but the change seamers and main spinner Ockert Erasmus were ineffective.

The Emerging Cobras' reply was a shambles, despite the pitch playing better as the second day proceeded. Both openers were knocked over by Tanvir Ahmed for single figures, and only a well-crafted 33 from Keegan Petersen, made off 47 balls with five well timed fours, saved the home team from abject humiliation.

Four batsmen were out for ducks, and the last seven wickets added just 14 in 45 balls of mayhem. Mohammad Irfan led the destruction, claiming 3-20 in his seven overs. Remarkably, 12 of these runs came in successive deliveries as Uwe Birkenstock hit three boundaries - but the next ball bowled him.

All the other bowlers got into the act except for Rahat Ali. Spinners Saeed Ajmal and Abdur Rehman swept away the tail as the Emerging Cobras were shot out for 78, leaving the Pakistanis just 59 for victory.

The Sunday blues in the pitch had all seemingly gone on holiday by the time Pakistan started their reply. By tea, Imran Farhat and Younis Khan had gone to 40 without loss without any scares.

There was no time pressure on the visitors, and the victory itself was completed in 21 overs but they went on to bat for another 22 overs before finally calling it a day. As this was solely a practice match, playing conditions were changed at the drop of a hat to suit Pakistan's requirements. Imran Farhat retired on 34 made off 73 balls.

Younis Khan played well within himself, but stepped up the stroke play as he approached his half-century. He finished unbeaten on 74, made off 136 balls with ten fours. Azhar Ali had a long knock before being caught behind as Bothma came back for a second spell, at which point the match was terminated.

The veteran does seem to have played himself into form after a first-innings failure, while Misbah-ul-Haq and Asad Shafiq in particular spent valuable time at the crease.

With first choice bowlers Umar Gul and Junaid Khan rested, and Saeed Ajmal drafted in to bowl a few overs at the end of the first innings, the back-up bowlers impressed. Although Rahat Ali got some disconcerting bounce, Mohammad Irfan has ticked some boxes and may displace him in the Newlands line-up.

There were two injury scares. Nasir Jamshed sprained an ankle early on the first day and Sarfraz Ahmed was hit on the nose standing up to Saeed Ajmal by a ball that bounced out of the rough. However, both seem to be unharmed and should be available for selection for the second test, starting on Thursday.

Report Day 1


EMERGING COBRAS:Mathew Kleinveldt, Shaun Gomes, Uwe Birkenstock, Keegan Petersen, RCC Canning (captain), SA Engelbrecht, Petrus Jeftha, Ockert Erasmus, Modnli Mahlombe, Johan Bothma, Brendon Young and Tariq Chiecktey.

PAKISTANIS: Imran Farhat, Nasir Jamshed, Azhar Ali, Younis Khan, Misbah-ul-Haq (capt), Asad Shafiq, Faisal Iqbal, Sarfraz Ahmed, Abdur Rehman, Mohammad Irfan, Tanvir Ahmed, Rahat Ali and Ehsan Adil


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