Iftikhar Ahmed smashes century in intra-squad practice match

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Karachi: Middle-order batsman Iftikhar Ahmed hit an unbeaten 102 off 48 balls in an intra-squad practice match at the events center in Queenstown.

Batsman Abdullah Shafiq scored 38 while all-rounder Hussain Talat made 24 runs. Faheem Ashraf picked up two wickets while fast-bowlers Wahab Riaz and Mohammad Hasnain took one wicket each.

The batters were asked to bat during the intra-squad match and bowlers were tasked to bowl in match-like situations to better prepare ahead of the first T20I.

The national team will lock horns against New Zealand in the three-match T20I series on December 18, 20 and 22 in Auckland, Hamilton and Napier, respectively.

The 18-member squad including Imam-ul-Haq will leave for Auckland tomorrow. Imam has not traveled to Whangarei with the Pakistan Shaheens squad as he is suffering from a thumb injury. The team doctors will monitor Imam’s injury before confirming his participation in the first Test, which starts on December 26.

Pakistan Shaheens will take on New Zealand ‘A’ ahead of their only four-day match from December 17.

It must be noted Pakistan suffered a huge blow yesterday after captain Babar Azam injured his thumb, ruling him out of the T20I series. All-rounder Shadab Khan will lead Pakistan in Babar’s absence but he is also suffering from a groin niggle.

Read: Misbah-ul-Haq optimistic on Shadab Khan’s availability for T20I series

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