England's debt to Stewart and Giles

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The Independent Online

Alec Stewart put a match fixing scandal behind him to grab two catches as England restricted Governor's XI to 173 for five on the first day of the four-day game.

Alec Stewart put a match fixing scandal behind him to grab two catches as England restricted Governor's XI to 173 for five on the first day of the four-day game.

Stewart, named in India's Central Bureau of Investigation's match-fixing report last week as one of several foreign cricketers allegedly involved with bookmaker Mukesh Gupta, showed little nervousness behind the stumps in England's final warm-up game before the First Test next Wednesday against Pakistan in Lahore.

Ashley Giles also put in a promising display as he sought to gain a Test place.

He claimed two for 21, one of England's few grounds for encouragement.

It was a far from conclusive performance and only served to remind England of their need for urgent match practice over the remaining three days before they transfer to Lahore for their biggest examination yet on their winter tour.

Neither Andrew Caddick or Darren Gough used the new ball effectively on a wicket which would have delighted them on first glance when the covers were removed.

Peshawar-born 22-year-old Yassir Hameed and number eight batsman Mohammed Hussain resurrected Governor's XI innings with an enterprising stand of 60 runs in 55 minutes after the visitors had reduced the home team to 113 for five.

Hameed was batting on a sedate 56 with six boundaries while Hussain hit six fours in his 44-ball knock of unbeaten 34 as the day's play was called off four overs before the scheduled time because of bad light.

The start of the match was delayed by 90 minutes due to overnight rain and a light early drizzle.

However, England seamers extracted a lot of bounce off the Shahi Bagh Stadium wicket once captain Nasser Hussein won the toss and elected to field.

Test batsman Wajahatullah Wasti was forced to retire hurt after Darren Gough's short delivery hit the right-handed batsman on the left hand shortly after the break.

Imran Farhat, dropped by Graham Thorpe, made a quick 42 off 54 deliveries before giving edging to Stewart off seamer Craig White. Stewart took his second catch, that of Taufiq Umer (15), off the bowling of Caddick, before England hit back with three quick wickets in the last session.

Left-arm spinner Ashley Giles picked up two wickets in three deliveries of his second over when he removed Naumanullah (11) and Akhtar Sarfraz (0).

Wicketkeeper and captain of Governor's XI Rashid Latif lasted for only 19 minutes before giving Marcus Trescothick an easy catch in the third slip before Hameed and Hussain were involved in an quickfire half century partnership.

Giles picked up two wickets for 21 while seamers Gough (1-33), Caddick (1-37) and White (1-42) chipped in.

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