Pakistan A and England XI are playing a two day tour game down in Sharjah in order to prepare for the important series between the two sides.
England XI, under the captaincy of Alaister Cook, decided to bat first having won the toss. Both teams fielded loads of youngsters in order to try out the players before the all important test series and due to the fact that most of the national team players from Pakistan were on tour versus Zimbabwe.
Cook played a slow innings and grinned his way to 53 but he must have felt good to play for a significant duration which would have helped in adapting to the conditions. Bell and Moeen also spent a few mins at the crease but were not that comfortable against the bowling. Joe Root played a good knock of 59 runs and he will be the batsman to watch out for during the series as he is currently the Barmy Army’s most reliant and set batsman. Young guns Bairstow and Rashid stroked convincing half centuries to reach a good total at the end of day 1 and these innings will go a long way in getting them selected for the first test match as Butler failed to impress the selectors yet again. Rashid’s fifty down the order will boost England’s confidence because they need lower order players who can bat against quality Pakistan bowling in UAE.
On the other hand Pakistan fielded a relatively inexperienced bowling attack and the fast bowlers especially were not that effective as they picked up only one wicket. Zafar Gohar shined with the ball as he took three wickets and troubled the batsman on occasions. Although he might just have put his name forward to the selectors but in the presence of Zulfiqar Babar and Yasir Shah, his inclusion in the first test is highly doubted.
Pakistan have began their batting on the second day and the batsman will look to have a nice day out with the bat as that is the department they do tend to struggle in against quality bowling lineups. The likes of Khurram Manzoor, Sami Aslam and Fawad Alam will be the batsmen to watch out for.