Pakistan batsmen impress on opening day in Leicester

Half-centuries by Ali, Zaman and Salahuddin highlight proceedings on day one

Pakistan batsmen impress on opening day in Leicester

Pakistan posted 321/9 at the end of day’s play in the final tour game against Leicestershire after skipper Sarfraz Ahmed had elected to bat first earlier in the day.

Pakistan’s batsmen made the most of Leicester’s average bowling attack and less challenging conditions by spending valuable time out there in the middle before the all-important series against England.

It was a breath of fresh air for the visitors that Azhar Ali regained some sort of form bearing in mind his low-key start to the tour. He scored 73 runs and added 121 runs for the first wicket with Fakhar Zaman. Before this innings, Ali’s highest score during the previous five innings on the tour was a mere 15.

Ali’s opening partner, Zaman, was cautious during the opening hour and a half but then swiftly changed gears towards the end of the first session. He accumulated 71 runs with the help of 14 boundaries.

Leicestershire were able to wrest back some of the initiative in the second half of the day as Pakistan kept on losing wickets at regular intervals. Tom Wells, Ateeq Javid, Aadil Ali and Dieter Klein picked up two wickets each.

Sami Aslam, Sarfraz, Saad Ali and Faheem Ashraf failed to add substantial runs under their belts by throwing away their wickets cheaply.

Despite losing partners at the other end, 27-year-old Usman Salahuddin, who is yet to make his Test debut, stuck to his task and kept the innings from completely falling apart. He looked sturdy during his knock of 69 runs and remained not out at the close of play.