Wed, Nov 09, 2005 - Page 20 News List

England slides to defeat in Pakistan

CRICKET After twisting his knee on Monday, England captain Michael Vaughan watched helplessly from the sidelines as Pakistan `A' hammered his frontline bowlers


England suffered a shock defeat yesterday when Pakistan "A" secured a comfortable six-wicket win in their three-day game ahead of a three-match test series.

Captain Hasan Raza -- who will also play in Pakistan's 16-man squad in the first two tests -- made a blazing unbeaten 71 with four fours and three sixes as Pakistan "A" wiped off the required 245 runs for the loss of four wickets with more than a session and six wickets to spare on the last day.

Together with Shahid Yousuf (57), Raza was involved in a match-winning 129-run fourth wicket partnership as the wicket eased out for batting after batsmen from both sides struggled in the first innings.

Pakistan "A" scored 138 in reply to England's total of 126. Andrew Strauss and Paul Collingwood returned to form in the second innings with half centuries to help the visitors score 256 for an overall lead of 244 runs.

The England captain, Michael Vaughan, did not take to the field on the last day after twisting his right knee on Monday afternoon. He watched helplessly as his frontline bowlers were hammered all over the picturesque Bagh-e-Jinnah Ground with Raza pulling Andrew Flintoff and Ashley Giles for two sixes.

Resuming at the overnight 31 for one, Imran Farhat and nightwatchman Shahid Nazir set the tone for a quick run-chase when they took 25 runs in two overs off Matthew Hoggard and Steve Harmison.

Farhat retired hurt on 24 with an injury to his finger that later required two stitches. However, Nazir kept the tempo going with a flurry of boundaries, scoring 43 off 31 balls before Andrew Flintoff bowled him with a perfect yorker. Farhat returned to the crease after Yousuf's dismissal and hit the winning boundary to remain unbeaten on 37 off 40 deliveries.

Flintoff grabbed all three wickets yesterday but conceded 67 runs off his 10.2 overs.

The first test in Multan starts on Saturday.

Kaneria readies secret weapon

Leg-spinner Danish Kaneria said yesterday he has developed a secret new delivery that he plans to use for the first time in the test series against England starting on Saturday.

"It will confuse the English batsman," Kaneria told reporters, without elaborating.

"I have worked hard on how to bowl this delivery," he said.

Kaneria, 24, and veteran leg-spinner Mushtaq Ahmed are both included in the 16-man squad for the first two tests. However, whether they both will play in the same eleven was not yet decided.

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