x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Pakistan unfazed by spots of bother in tri-series triumph

Inam-ul-Haq and Saud Shakeel guide side to victory over England

Zia-ul-Haq, right, took three wickets as Pakistan defeated England in an Under 19 tri-series match in Abu Dhabi on Monday. Pawan Singh / The National
Zia-ul-Haq, right, took three wickets as Pakistan defeated England in an Under 19 tri-series match in Abu Dhabi on Monday. Pawan Singh / The National

ABU DHABI // Pakistan prevailed over England in a game in which fortunes swung like a pendulum.

Inam-ul-Haq, the opener, and Saud Shakeel, the No 6, held the Pakistan inning together to guide them to a three-wicket win, taking the lead in the Under 19 tri-series that also includes the UAE.

Electing to field first, the Pakistani bowlers did well to dismiss England for 168, but they were left in a spot at 39 for four and then 113 for six before easing to victory at the Zayed Cricket Stadium on Monday.

“They are still learning,” said Azam Khan, the Pakistan coach. “These youngsters need to learn to be patient. What they tried to do today was to finish the game quickly when chasing a low total.

“But some of them, particularly Saud and Inam, kept their cool and played composed knocks to ensure the victory. This is how we would’ve wanted some of the top-order batsmen to have played.”

Ryan Higgins, the England opener, scored a breezy 80 despite the fall of wickets at regular intervals at the other end.

His 84-ball knock was highlighted by nine fours and a six. He was sixth out when the score was 122 in the 30th over.

“We lacked runs, basically, but I thought there was some encouraging signs,” said Tim Boon, the England coach.

“I thought our bowlers showed some great spirit to have Pakistan in a bit of a spot twice. There was some good fight when Pakistan were 113 for six, and at that point the game could have gone either way.

“Saud played a very good knock. He was high class and took the game away from us.”

Josh Shaw grabbed three wickets and Will Rhodes took the other as Pakistan were left reeling at 39 for four before Inam and Saud rebuilt the inning with a 71-run stand for the fifth wicket.

Pakistan stumbled again as two wickets fell in two overs, but Saud, joined by Zafar Gohar (32 not out), took them close to victory with a 53-run stand seventh wicket.

“We need to take one level up, particularly in our batting,” said Ali Zia, the Pakistan manager. “There were a lot of unwanted shots. There was more of a half measure in their shot selection.

“When you try to turn your wrist, you use only half of the bat and that gives the bowlers a bit of a chance. You don’t have to give that kind of chance when chasing a low score. However, all is well that ends well.”

apassela@thenational.ae