England A 199 and 62-2 Pakistan A 300
England A's management asked umpires Iftikhar Malik and Feroz Butt to inspect the match ball yesterday after Pakistan A reduced their side to 62 for 2 in the third Test at Peshawar.
Shahid Nazir, who removed Nick Knight in a dangerous spell, has swung the ball far more than England's quick bowlers, but that is probably because he is a more natural swing bowler than either Dean Hedley or Ed Giddins.
England A begin the final day of the three-match series, which they lead 1-0, 39 runs behind and with a nervy session or two to see out before they can be sure of the draw that would start victory celebrations.
The delegation which visited the umpires' room at the close of play - captain Nasser Hussain, cricket manager John Emburey and tour manager Mike Vockins - were also seeking clarification on how the officials are policing the problem of shadows across the pitch thrown by close fielders late in the day. Nightwatchman Ian Salisbury was caught at short leg by a ball from off-spinner Akram Raza which pitched right in the area of shadow caused by the fielder.
But it is the ball enquiry which is potentially controversial in a series which has so far been free of the sort of wrangles which have plagued recent England-Pakistan contests. On what is the first tour here since the infamous 1987 trip it can only inflame Pakistani sensibility that questions were asked the first time England A have been under any sort of pressure.
The umpires reported later that there were no problems with the ball, a verdict which was apparently accepted by the England management team, although they did not wish to comment officially.
Yesterday Asif Mujtaba, the Pakistan A captain, took his fine innings to an unbeaten 147 as the home team batted on to 300 all out, a lead of 101. After an opening stand of 56, Nazir followed up his first innings 6 for 64 by having Knight lbw for 15. When Salisbury fell, Shaun Udal was sent in as a second nightwatchman to join Jason Gallian, undefeated on 42.
(Fourth day of five; Pakistan A won toss)
ENGLAND A First Innings - 199 (D P Ostler 68, N V Knight 55; Shahid Nazir 6-64).
PAKISTAN A - First Innings
(Overnight: 207 for 6)
*Asif Mujtaba not out 147
Akram Raza b Giddins 40
Salman Fazal c Ostler b Giddins 5
Athar Laig c Udal b Giddins 19
Shahid Nazir c Piper b Headley 4
Extras (b6, lb11, nb16) 33
Total (111.4 overs) 300
Fall (cont): 7-250, 8-258, 9-285.
Bowling: Headley 45-8-109-5; Giddins 39.4-5-104-5; Salisbury 6-0-28-0; Udal 12-2-31-0; Gallian 9-5-11-0.
ENGLAND A - Second Innings
N V Knight lbw b Shahid 15
J E R Gallian not out 42
I D K Salisbury c Javed Sami b Akram 2
S D Udal not out 1
Extras (b1, lb1) 2
Total (for 2, 24.4 overs) 62
Fall: 1-56, 2-61.
To bat: *N Hussain, J C Pooley, D P Ostler, A McGrath, K J Piper, D W Headley, E S H Giddins.
Bowling: Athar Laiq 6-0-26-0; Shahid Nazir 11.4-4-22-1; Shadid Anwar 2-1-3-0; Akram Raza 5-0-9-1.
Umpires: Iftikhar Malik and Feroz Butt.
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