Naseem stars in Pakistan warm-up

Pakistan will begin three-Test series against England at Emirates Old Trafford on August 5

Last Updated: 17/07/20 7:57pm

Naseem Shah bagged three wickets on day one of Pakistan's warm-up game in Derby
Naseem Shah bagged three wickets on day one of Pakistan’s warm-up game in Derby

Pakistan’s pace bowlers fired a warning to England on the opening day of the tourists’ intra-squad match at the Incora County Ground in Derby.

Teenager Naseem Shah, who at 16 became the youngest player to take a Test match hat-trick earlier this year, and Mohammad Abbas shared six wickets for Team Green, captained by Azhar Ali, against Team White who closed on 231-8.

Shan Masood top-scored with 42 and Mohammad Rizwan was unbeaten on 41 but Team White captain Babar Azam made only 12 on a day when Naseem’s youthful promise shone as brightly as the July sunshine.

Naseem is the youngest man to take a Test hat-trick, doing so against Bangladesh when he was just 16
Naseem is the youngest man to take a Test hat-trick, doing so against Bangladesh when he was just 16

The 17-year-old is already being tipped as a future star and it is not hard to see why on the evidence of this performance.

Operating off a short run, he generated considerable pace on a slow pitch and troubled all the batsmen, although he had to wait until after lunch for his rewards.

Frustration best summed up his morning as he twice appealed imploringly to umpire Steve O’Shaughnessy for lbw against Masood who with Imam-ul-Haq, was forced to concentrate on survival in a first hour which brought only 33 runs.

England vs Pakistan Test series

1st Test: August 5-9, Emirates Old Trafford
2nd Test: August 13-17, The Ageas Bowl
3rd Test, August 21-25, The Ageas Bowl

Both became more expansive although Masood was missed off a sharp chance to first slip on 23 but at lunch, Babar’s decision to bat was vindicated with his team 86 without loss.

The balance shifted in the afternoon as first Abbas then Naseem worked through the top order before Yasir Shah’s leg-spin snared two team mates in the evening session.

Only six runs had been added when Abbas, who was to have joined Nottinghamshire this year before his contract was cancelled due to Covid-19, had Masood caught at second slip and although Haider Ali drove the former Leicestershire man for a huge six onto the media centre, he became the second of Naseem’s victims.

By pitching the ball up and concentrating on off stump, he allowed little margin for error and when he found enough movement to defeat Ul-Haq’s half forward push, Martin Saggers upheld his appeal.

Imam-ul-Haq was one of Naseem's victims
Imam-ul-Haq was one of Naseem’s victims

Babar edged his first ball narrowly past leg stump but Naseem was celebrating again when Hadair was taken low at second slip.

Fawad Alam, adopting a Shivnarine Chanderpaul stance, never looked convincing and needed treatment and a new helmet after he was clattered by a skiddy Naseem bouncer.

But it was Babar who went just before tea when Iftikhar Ahmed grabbed a smart catch at first slip and Alam dragged Yasir to wide mid-on.

Naseem lured Shadab Khan into pulling a short ball to deep backward square and after Yasir had Sohail Khan lbw, Abbas returned to have Shaheen Shah Afridi caught at third slip.

That brought in Kashif Bhatti, only restored to the squad yesterday after a precautionary period of self-isolation, and he announced his return by driving the last ball of the day from Yasir for six.​

Source : Sky Sports