Pak step up preparations for Eng Tests with first-class fixture

In a bid to step up their preparations for the upcoming three-match Test series against England, Pakistan will play a four-day first-class intra-squad match at the Incora County Ground.

The match, which begins on Friday, will be played between PCB Green, captained by Test captain Azhar Ali, and Sarfaraz Ahmed’s PCB White, stated PCB in a media release.

This fixture is Pakistan’s last practice match before the Test series kicks off on August 5 at the Old Trafford Manchester. The final two Tests are scheduled to be played in Southampton from August 13 and August 21 respectively.

The first of the two four-dayers, which concluded on Monday, turned out to be an absorbing contest with both batsmen and bowlers fighting tooth and nail to stake their claims in the final XI of the first Test.

After getting rolled out for a paltry 181 in the reply of Team White’s first innings 249 all-out, Team Green staged a jaw-dropping comeback at the back of Azhar’s 120 retired out, Fakhar Zaman’s 99 and Asad Shafiq’s 67 retired out to chase 354 for the loss of four wickets in the final session.

As many as six half-centuries and two centuries were scored, while 17-year-old Naseem Shah and Sohail Khan returned five-wicket hauls for their teams. Mohammad Abbas, Shaheen Shah Afridi and Yasir Shah were the other bowlers to put up notable performances.

14-player lineups:

PCB Green: Azhar Ali (c), Abid Ali, Asad Shafiq, Babar Azam, Mohammad Abbas, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Hasnain, Naseem Shah, Shadab Khan, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shan Masood, Wahab Riaz and Yasir Shah

PCB White: Sarfaraz Ahmed (c), Faheem Ashraf, Fakhar Zaman, Fawad Alam, Haider Ali, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imad Wasim, Imam-ul-Haq, Imran Khan, Kashif Bhatti, Khushdil Shah, Musa Khan, Sohail Khan and Usman Khan Shinwari