Irani's spell puts victory in sight

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The Independent Online
Cricket

Karachi Combined XI 204 and 211-9 England A 312

A superb spell of bowling by Essex all-rounder Ronnie Irani has left England A with victory in their sights today against the Combined XI in Karachi.

Irani took 5 for 14 and was backed up by the Sussex leg spinner Ian Salisbury (3 for 71) as the Combined XI were reduced to 279 for 9 at the close of the third day of four with a lead of just 103.

Irani's second spell was his most prolific. He took four wickets off 24 balls, giving away just two runs to hasten the demise of the Combined XI's innings.

Starting at the overnight total of 279 for 9, their last pair Ed Giddins and Shaun Udal added 33 runs with Udal getting to his 50, including five fours, off 136 balls before he fell victim to the off-spinner Nadeem Khan.

Only a defiant unbeaten 111 by opener Mohammad Ramzam spared the home side from greater embarrassment in their second innings. He punctuated his innings with 15 boundaries but he was a lone figure of defiance, let down by his fellow batsmen.

Off spinner Udal gave the tourists the breakthrough they wanted, dismissing the in-form opening batsman Shahid Anwar when the total was 53.

From then on the Test bowler Salisbury and Irani shared the wickets. Shoaib Mohammad was out for seven and Sohail Jaffer, Ather Laeeq and Nadeem Khan were all dismissed for ducks.

The Gloucestershire left-arm seamer Michael Smith, who bowled just three overs early on in the innings, was struggling with a side strain. He did not bowl at all later in the innings although he fielded straight through from lunch till close of play.

(Third day of four; Combined XI won toss)

COMBINED XI - First Innings 204 (Azam Khan 55; I D K Salisbury 4-72).

ENGLAND A - First Innings

(Overnight: 279 for 9)

S D Udal c Shahid b Nadeem Khan 50

E S H Giddins not out 5

Extras (b10, lb7, w4, nb7) 28

Total (126.2 overs) 312

Bowling: Ather Laeeq 31-10-68-1; Taufiq Bader 16-4-41-2; Shahid Khan 30-8-72-4; Nadeem Khan 41.2-12-95-2; Shoaib Mohammad 8-0-19-1.

COMBINED XI - Second Innings

Mohammad Ramzam not out 111

Shahid Anwar c Ostler b Udal 34

*Shoaib Mohammad c Ostler b Salisbury 7

Sohail Jaffer lbw b Salisbury 0

Azam Khan c Piper b Irani 15

Mahmood Hamid lbw b Irani 20

Wasim Yousufi lbw b Irani 1

Ather Laeeq c Piper b Irani 0

Nadeem Khan c Piper b Irani 0

Shahid Khan b Salisbury 1

Taufiq Bader not out 4

Extras (b11, lb4, w1, nb2) 18

Total (for 9, 76 overs) 211

Fall: 1-53, 2-89, 3-89, 4-135, 5-171, 6-175, 7-179, 8-183, 9-195.

Bowling: Giddins 19-6-30-0; Smith 3-0-11-0; Udal 25-4-70-1; Salisbury 19-2-71-3; Irani 10-3-14-5.

Umpires: Salim Badar and Islam Khan.

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