Published On: Mon, Jul 4th, 2016

Pakistan’s Mohammad Amir strikes on England return


Pakistan’s Mohammad Amir strikes on England return

Pakistan’s Mohammad Amir marked his return to first-class cricket in England with two wickets in quick succession against Somerset at Taunton on Monday.

At lunch on the second day of three in Pakistan’s tour opener, the left-arm fast bowler had taken two wickets for 16 runs in six overs, with former England opener Marcus Trescothick his maiden senior wicket on English soil for six years.

Amir’s exciting career came to a shuddering halt at Lord’s in 2010 when, during a Test against England, he and new-ball partner Mohammad Asif were caught bowling no-balls to order on the instructions of captain Salman Butt as part of a a tabloid newspaper sting operation.

All three received five-year bans from cricket and together with sports agent Mazhar Majeed, jail terms.

Amir, who served three months in an English young offenders institute, has only featured in the game’s shorter formats since his return to Pakistan duty in January.

But the 24-year-old is now back in England with the Pakistan squad and could make his Test return in the first of a four-match series at Lord’s on July 14.

After Pakistan had made 359 for eight declared on the second morning of three in their tour opener against Somerset, Amir took the new ball.

Despite suggestions from England captain Alastair Cook that spectators might jeer Amir, there was nothing but polite applause after his name was announced on the public address system.

Trescothick blocked his first ball and took two fours off Amir’s opening over, a push through cover-point and another down to third man.

But Amir struck with his 14th ball back in first-class cricket on English soil.

Left-hander Trescothick, on eight, could only edge a superb outswinger that moved late and wicket-keeper Sarfraz Ahmed held an excellent diving catch.

Amir struck again when a full-length inswinger bowled first-class debutant Adam Hose (10).

Somerset were now 23 for two, with Amir having taken two wickets for six runs in 11 balls.

At lunch, Somerset were 56 for three, with Peter Trego 23 not out and James Hildreth nine not out.

Pakistan resumed on their overnight score of 324 for five, with Younis Khan 99 not out.

It took the 38-year-old Younis 12 balls Monday to complete his 53rd first-class hundred but he got there with a two to fine leg off Dutch paceman Paul van Meekeren.

Younis’s century came off 173 balls, including 14 fours.

He was out soon afterwards, well caught by a diving Rouse in the slips off Scotland seamer Josh Davey.

Younis’s exit sparked a mini collapse that saw Pakistan lose three wickets in seven balls.

There was an ironic moment when the first delivery Amir faced was a Davey no-ball.

Next ball, Amir was caught behind off Davey for a duck.

Pakistan’s innings finished with a flourish as Yasir Shah hit a four and a six off the final two deliveries from van Meekeren.

Nevertheless van Meekeren, who only joined Somerset on Friday, finished with a commendable three for 78 in 26 overs.

News Source Indian Express

About the Author

Syed Ammar Alavi

- is Lahore (Pakistan) based journalist & writer with 25-year experience in print, wire and broadcast forms of journalism. His major fields of interest are politics, film,tv,sports, climate change and technology