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Sports

June 14, 2018

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Scotland captain hopes his team will learn from Pakistani rivals

KARACHI: Pakistan’s senior duo of Sarfraz Ahmed and Shoaib Malik shepherded them to a crushing 48-run victory against Scotland at The Grange on Tuesday night but the home team captain believes it was the touring party’s spinners who did the most damage in the first Twenty20 International.

Pakistan’s duo of Mohammad Nawaz and Shadab Khan combined for figures of 3 for 47 in eight overs. Scotland’s tag-team of Mark Watt and debutant Hamza Tahir were more than twice as expensive in the same number of overs, not to mention wicketless. It was a harsh lesson, but one that Scotland skipper Kyle Coetzer hoped his young slow bowling group would be able to learn from, going forward after a 48-run defeat.

“The pace and the lengths which they bowled were of a higher quality than ours,” Coetzer said. “They were top of the bails, pulled the length back and slid the ball in towards the batter - and only their variation was to change up and try to spin it, as opposed to ours. We were just slightly full today and we got ourselves into that one-step zone where they didn’t really have to come chasing it.

“We’ve come off the back of our one-day game where lengths are maybe slightly different too, but that’s no excuse. We’ve got to try to find our lengths and find them quicker. You play against an opposition like this, they’re going to hurt you if you don’t get it right. The quality of Sarfraz Ahmed and Shoaib Malik, they were so dangerous if you didn’t get it in the right place.”

The Pakistan captain entered the contest starved of form on their tour of Ireland and the UK, having scored just 88 runs in eight innings. He more than doubled that in the space of only 49 balls at the Grange. Even after 15 overs, he had played a smooth but relatively sedate knock by T20 standards, reaching 41 off 32 balls.

But Sarfraz and Malik meted out harsh punishment to the left-arm spinner Tahir in the 16th over, battering him for 20 runs to spark an 80-run surge over the final five overs. Sarfraz faced 17 balls out of the 30 that remained, but scored at a strike rate of nearly 300. The only two dot balls in the final quarter of the innings were by Shoaib: first in the 17th off Mark Watt and then when he drove to long-off to give Alasdair Evans his third wicket. Otherwise, Sarfraz was unstoppable, and finished with a spectacular flourish off Safyaan Sharif with four, four, six, four at the end of the innings to take Pakistan past 200.

“He used the pace when he first came in, tried to get to ball down to third man a few times and then he looked to hit the ball hard through the field. And he took on extra cover really well and hit a couple of gaps that are very hard to block,” Coetzer said of the knock by Sarfraz. “When we started to try to take the pace off the ball with Richie [Berrington] or bowl some slower balls, he was hitting us through the leg side but he was picking the gaps all the time - between the fielders or over them.

“A little bit like Jonny Bairstow the other day. Sometimes when they’re playing that well you’re almost hoping that they’re going to mis-hit one when they’re trying to hit one over the fielders. Let’s be honest, that’s the case a lot of the times. You want to get people hitting to where your fielders are, or over them, and if they don’t manage to clear them, then they’re out. But he was able to pick the gaps between them today. It was a fine knock and showed how you can actually pace an innings in T20 cricket. Because towards the end in the last over he took down Safyaan, who is a fine death bowler.” —with inputs from agencies

Pakistan won toss

Pakistan

Fakhar Zaman c Cross b Evans 21

Ahmed Shehzad c Berrington b Evans 14

Hussain Talat c Hamza Tahir b Berrington 18

*†Sarfraz Ahmed not out 89

Shoaib Malik c Leask b Evans 53

Asif Ali not out 1

Extras (lb 4, w 4) 8

Total (4 wickets, 20 overs) 204

Did not bat: Faheem Ashraf, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Amir, Hasan Ali

Fall: 1-33, 2-46, 3-87, 4-183

Bowling: Sharif 4-0-43-0 (w 1); Watt 4-0-42-0; Hamza 4-0-57-0; Evans 4-0-23-3 (w 2);

Leask 1-0-6-0; Berrington 3-0-29-1 (w 1)

Scotland

H G Munsey c Sarfraz b Hasan 25

*K J Coetzer c Asif b Nawaz 31

R D Berrington b Shadab 3

C S MacLeod lbw b Shadab 12

D E Budge c Faheem b Amir 24

M A Leask not out 38

†M H Cross c Malik b Hasan 13

S M Sharif not out 3

Extras (lb 4, nb 1, w 2) 7

Total (6 wickets, 20 overs) 156

Did not bat: M R J Watt, A C Evans, Hamza Tahir

Fall: 1-53, 2-63, 3-69, 4-82, 5-107, 6-150

Bowling: Nawaz 4-0-22-1; Amir 4-0-45-1; Hasan 4-0-33-2 (w 2); Faheem 3-0-23-0 (nb 1); Shadab 4-0-25-2; Hussain 1-0-4-0

Result: Pakistan won by 48 runs

Man of the Match: Sarfraz Ahmed (Pakistan)

T20I debut: D E Budge and Hamza Tahir (Scotland)

Umpires: Alex Dowdalls and Allan Haggo (Scotland). TV Umpire: Ian Ramage (Scotland).

Match Referee: Chris Broad (England)

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