Headley denied hat-trick

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The Independent Online
DEAN HEADLEY came agonisingly close to capping his impressive England A tour with his first hat-trick in Peshawar yesterday. A dropped catch denied him in a remarkable first over of Pakistan A's first innings.

Headley bowled Shadid Anwar and Babar Zaman with his third and fourth deliveries. Then Asif Mujtaba, the Pakistan A captain, prodded uncertainly at Headley's fifth ball, and it flew low to second slip, where Nick Knight saw it spill from his grasp as he fell to his right.

Knight redeemed himself in the second over of the innings by holding on to Shakeel Ahmed's snick off Ed Giddins to leave Pakistan A in disarray at 1 for three in reply to England A's 199.

Giddins later sent back Javed Sami, when the total was 22, but the Pakistanis recovered grittily to reach 97 for four by the close of the Third Test's second day.

Headley had no further luck after his wonderful start. In a 16-over spell, either side of tea, he often beat the bat and twice had players "caught" off no-balls.

Earlier the England A first innings had been sustained by a spirited and determined 68 from Dominic Ostler. Resuming on 13, Ostler shouldered even more responsibility after seeing his overnight partner Jason Pooley fall without addition to the overnight 102 for four. Ostler, who was left out of the first two Tests, produced some forthright strokes and went on to complete his first half-century for England, his previous being 23.

Today their captain, Nasser Hussain, must hope his bowlers can rediscover their inspiration, and perhaps their luck, to split the fifth-wicket partnership if they are to remain in control of what so far has been the best-contested match of the series.

Second day; Pakistan A won toss

ENGLAND A - First Innings

(Overnight: 102-4)

D P Ostler b Shahid Nazar 68

J C Pooley c Salman Fazal b Athar Laig 6

K J Piper b Shahid Nazir 11

I D K Salisbury c Akram Raza b Salman Fazal 11

S D Udal lbw b Shahid Nazir 4

D W Headley not out 8

E S H Giddens b Shahid Nazir 0

Extras (b1, lb10) 11

Total (89.5 overs) 199

Fall contd: 5-102, 6-137, 7-163, 8-184, 9-199.

Bowling: Athar Laig 29-15-34-2; Shahid Nazir 27.5-9-64-6; Asif Mujtaba 3-0-3-0; Akram Raza 13-1-37-1; Salman Fazal 17-3-50-1

PAKISTAN A - First Innings

Shakeel Ahmed c Knight b Giddins 1

Shadid Anwar b Headley 0

Babar Zaman b Headley 0

Asif Mujtaba not out 31

Javed Sami lbw b Giddins 6

Shahid Javed not out 39

Extras (b4, lb4, nb9) 17

Total (for 4, 35 overs) 94

Fall: 1-1, 2-1, 3-1, 4-22.

To Bat: Wasim Yousufi, Akram Raza, Athar Laig, Shahid Nazir, Salman Fazal.

Umpires: Iftikhar Malik and Feroz Butt.