Pakistan openers suffer fresh problems
by AFP

Ground:County Ground, Northampton
Scorecard:Northamptonshire v Pakistanis
Player:SD Peters, U Afzaal, Younis Khan
Event:Pakistan in British Isles 2006

DateLine: 21st July 2006


Pakistan's fallible openers both had another innings to forget as their problems continued on the opening day of a three-day tour match against Northamptonshire at Wantage Road here Thursday.


Salman Butt and Imran Farhat both struggled to make an impression during the drawn first Test at Lord's where it was left to middle-order stars Mohammad Yousuf and Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq to gude the tourists to safety in the initial encounter of a four-match series.


And it was a similar story against Northamptonshire, with Butt and Farhat falling for four apiece in Pakistan's first innings.


Both batsmen could lose their places come the second Test at Old Trafford starting a week Thursday with returning vice-captain Younis Khan, fit again after a knee problem, set to take one of the top-order batting spots.


Younis made 50 not off 66 balls with 10 fours as Pakistan closed on 97 for three in reply to Northamptonshire's first innings 269 for three declared.


Butt, dismissed for a first-ball nought in Pakistan's second innings at Lord's, lasted just four balls at the County Ground before he was caught behind by wicket-keeper Riki Wessels off Charl Pietersen.


Farhat stayed for slightly longer before driving Ben Phillips to centurion Stephen Peters at square leg.


The recently-arrived Taufeeq Umar did his chances no harm with a stylish 29 at a better than a run-a-ball before he too was caught behind. Faisal Iqbal was seven not out at stumps.


Earlier Peters made 142 with the opener sharing a stand of 170 with former England batsman Usman Afzaal (71 not out) for the third-wicket.


Peters's 195-ball innings, with 26 fours, ended shortly after tea when he lofted Samiullah Khan Niazi, another of Pakistan's recent arrivals with fellow seamers Shoaib Akhtar (ankle), Mohammad Asif (elbow) and Naved-ul-Hasan (groin) all injured, to Iqbal at long leg.

(Article: Copyright © 2006 AFP)