Knight digs in to steady England A

Cricket England A 102-4 v Pakistan

England A 102-4 v Pakistan A

Nick Knight held England A's innings together in Peshawar yesterday during a truncated first day's play in the third "Test". The Warwickshire opener made 55 out of England A's 102 for 4 as the Pakistani seamers made life difficult by swinging the ball significantly during the afternoon.

Play began 90 minutes late, to the amazement of England's players because the ground administrator ruled that the pitch was too damp and had not been fully prepared because of yesterday's rain. But, with the sun shining, the England cricketers rightly felt that any first-class match at home would have started on time.

Knight, who made a duck in last week's second Test in Rawalpindi, was in need of a sizeable score, especially because of the 153 his Test rival Jason Gallian had made there. Yesterday Gallian fell for 16 and, when Nasser Hussain and the out-of-form Anthony McGrath then departed in quick succession, much depended on Knight. He looked as if he would see out the day before he was beaten by a well pitched-up delivery from the seamer Shahid Nazir.

Dominic Ostler and Jason Pooley made it to the close, which came 45 minutes early because of bad light, and they both face having to make significant contributions today.

Pakistan A won toss

ENGLAND A - First Innings

N V Knight lbw b Shahid Nazir 55

J E R Gallian c & b Akram Raza 16

*N Hussain lbw b Shahid Nazir 9

A McGrath lbw b Athar Laig 0

D P Ostler not out 13

J C Pooley not out 6

Extras (b1, lb2) 3

Total (for 4, 49.3 overs) 102

Fall: 1-42, 2-70, 3-71, 4-87.

To Bat: K J Piper, I D K Salisbury, S D Udal, D W Headley, E S H Giddens.

Bowling: Athar Laig 19-9-25-1; Shahid Nazir 14.3-5-30-2; Asif Mujtaba 2-0-2-0; Akram Raza 12-1-36-1; Salman Fazal 2-0-6-0.

Pakistan A: Shakeel Ahmed, Shadid Anwar, Babar Zaman, Asif Mujtaba (capt), Javed Sami, Wasim Yousufi (wkt), Akram Raza, Athar Laig, Shahid Nazir, Salman Fazal, Shahid Javed.

Umpires: Iftikhar Malik and Feroz Butt.