Headley gets up head of steam

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The Independent Online
DEAN HEADLEY provided some crumbs of comfort as England A struggled to hold a Pakistan Cricket Board XI in Lahore yesterday. The Kent pace bowler finished with three for 48 from 19 hostile overs, as a young Pakistan outfit reached 259 for four by the close of the opening day of the A team's second four-day fixture of the tour.

Bad light cut 10 overs from the final session, the batsmen deciding to go off when Headley prepared to take the second new ball as shadows lengthened across the tree-ringed Lawrence Park ground.

Saeed Azad, a powerful stroke player, finished 96 not out, but in mid- afternoon he survived a confident appeal for a catch at the wicket.

The bowler, Yorkshire's slow left-armer Richard Stemp, had a luckless day but bowled far better than his final figures of nought for 76 from 27 overs might indicate.

The medium-pacer Ronnie Irani was England A's other wicket-taker. The wicket of the Board XI captain, Aamir Hanif, was his reward for some steady stuff. But the leg-spinner Ian Salisbury and the seamer Craig White - the two bowlers in the side with full Test experience - both disappointed.

Azad pulled Salisbury for six and struck 17 boundaries in a fine innings, and there were half-centuries for the youthful pair of Adil Nisar and Shadab Kabir. Nisar (57) and Kabir (61) both figured in Pakistan's recent Under-19 Test series against the West Indies.

Yesterday, they added 87 - although Nisar had a couple of escapes facing White with nicks that did not go to hand. Stemp troubled both of them but Kabir stayed long enough also to figure in a third-wicket partnership of 89 with Azad, whose first 56 runs included no fewer than 50 in boundaries.

Headley, the A team's only specialist new-ball bowler in the absence of the rested Ed Giddins and the injured Mike Smith, delivered three spells at the start of each session and took a wicket in each of them to cement his place in next week's first Test against Pakistan A in Multan.

(First day of four; Pakistan CB XI won toss)


Javad Sami c Gallian b Headley 11

Adil Nisar c Piper b Headley 57

Shadab Kabir c Knight b Headley 61

Saeed Azad not out 96

*Aamir Hanif c Stemp b Irani 0

Wajahtullah not out 20

Extras (b8 lb2 nb4) 14

Total (for 4, 80 overs) 259

Fall: 1-22 2-109 3-198 4-205.

To bat: Majid Inayat, Shoaib Aktar, Fahad Khan, Iefikhar, Mubashir Nazeer.

Bowling: Headley 19-3-48-3; White 11-0-53-0; Stemp 27-5-76-0; Irani 11-2-26-1; Salisbury 7-1-37-0; McGrath 5-1-9-0.

ENGLAND A: J E R Gallian, N V Knight, *N Hussain, A McGrath, J C Pooley, C White, R C Irani, K J Piper, I D K Salisbury, D W Headley, R D Stemp.

Umpires: Mohammad Iqbal, Azzar Assan.