Pakistan’s senior side may be enjoying rare supremacy over Australia but their second-string players have not had it so easy against the UAE.
On Thursday, as Younis Khan and Azhar Ali were putting Mitchell Johnson and his cohorts through another grinding day, Amjad Ali was doing likewise to Pakistan A.
Amjad carried his bat for an unbeaten 116, which formed the backbone, heart, stomach and pretty much everything else of the UAE’s innings and their resulting 20-run win. The next highest score was Swapnil Patil’s 21, with whom Ali shared a 71-run partnership.
That led the UAE to a defendable 212 after Saqib Ali had won the toss and chosen to bat. Amjad’s 144-ball innings made up for a disappointing series with the bat. He had only made 43 runs in the previous four matches.
The platform he set was built upon by the impressive Mohammad Shahzad and Ahmed Raza, who shared eight wickets between them. The tourists were cruising at one stage, at 143 for four with just over half the innings gone. But a wicket each in the next three overs sparked a collapse, ultimately costing them the game.
The win did not affect the series result but a 3-2 loss to a strong Pakistan A side brought some gains for the home side as they continue their preparations for their participation in next year’s World Cup, their first since 1996.
The tourists had three internationals in their line-up – Nasir Jamshed, Sharjeel Khan and captain Anwar Ali – as well as a spate of players from Pakistan’s U19 squads, and on the fringes of senior selection.
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