Cricket: Sussex's tail keep Pakistan at bay

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The Independent Online
Pakistan A 306 & 248 Sussex 331 & 90-7 Match drawn

Sussex's eighth-wicket pair of Justin Bates and Amer Khan survived the final four overs to deny Pakistan A their second successive first-class victory.

Sussex, set 224 to win in 28 overs, needed Bates and Khan to hold firm after the pace bowlers Shoaib Akhtar and Azhar Mahmood had taken their side to the brink of victory with three wickets each.

An under-strength Sussex team had made a disastrous start by losing their first three wickets for four runs in the space of nine balls. Half the side were out for 39 when Shaun Humphries was bowled by Akhtar, and Sussex sank deeper into trouble when Keith Greenfield edged Mahmood to slip.

Mahmood struck again to trap Alex Edwards leg before to reduce Sussex to 60-7, but Bates and Khan added 30 in an untroubled fashion to snuff out the visitors' hopes of victory.

Earlier, Rana Qayyum followed up his first innings 75 with a fluent 97 as the tourists were bowled out for 248. Qayyum shared in two half-century stands with Abdul Razzaq and Javed Qadeer, and had struck 10 fours and two sixes off Bates when he attempted to cut Edwards and was caught behind.

Pakistan, resuming 18 ahead, lost two early wickets before Razzaq, their nightwatchman and Mohammad Wasim added 56 in 16 overs. When Wasim fell attempting to pull Khan, Qayyum then took charge.

Razzaq, dropped by Greenfield at slip off Edwards when on 10, went on to hit 62 off 134 balls before he edged Bates to Greenfield. Razzaq had added 56 in 13 overs with Qayyum, who repeated the stand for the eighth- wicket with Qadeer.

Edwards took the final three wickets of the innings to claim his first five-wicket haul in first-class cricket. Bates, at 21 the youngest of Sussex's nine uncapped players, again bowled tidily to take 3 for 35 in 20 overs.

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