Pakistan head to Ireland with victory over Northamptonshire

In this file photo, Pakistani cricketer Mohammad Amir bats during a training camp for the tours of Ireland and England, at the Qaddafi Cricket Stadium in Lahore on April 19, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 08 May 2018
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Pakistan head to Ireland with victory over Northamptonshire

LONDON: Pakistan warmed up for the first Test match of their tour in Ireland by seeing off Northamptonshire with a simple chase of 133 to win by nine wickets on the fourth day at Wantage Road.
Victory for the tourists on Monday was set up by Asad Shafiq’s unbeaten 186 in the first innings, whilst Shadab Khan took 10 for 157 in the match to prepare Pakistan nicely for Ireland’s debut in test cricket.
Mohammed Abbas made the vital breakthrough on Monday morning to dismiss Rob Newston for 118 and Shadab took the final two Northants wickets to set up a comfortable target.
And despite losing Azhar Ali to a comical run out for just 10, half centuries from Imam Ul-Haq, nephew of Inzamam Ul-Haq, and Haris Sohail saw Pakistan over the line.
After providing the opposition when Ireland play their inaugural Test in a match starting in Malahide, near Dublin, on Friday, Pakistan will return across the Irish Sea for a two-Test series against England.

Pakistan 428 (Shafiq 186*, Haris 79, Babar 57; Crook 4-89) and 134 for 1 (Imam 59*, Haris 55*) beat Northamptonshire 259 (Rossington 90; Shadab 6-77) and 301 (Newton 118, Cobb 52, Abbas 4-62; Shadab 4-80) by nine wickets.


A HAT-TRICK OF HOPES: What the UAE and Saudi Arabia should be looking for from their friendly

Updated 20 March 2019
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A HAT-TRICK OF HOPES: What the UAE and Saudi Arabia should be looking for from their friendly

  • Can the Whites and Green Falcons find the back of the net more often?
  • Both teams need to set the tone ahead of the important World Cup qualifiers.

LONDON: Ahead of Thursday’s friendly between the UAE and Saudi Arabia Arab News looks at the main priorities for both sides as they embark on their new eras after the Asian Cup and ahead of the all-important the World Cup qualifiers.

FIND THOSE SCORING BOOTS

For the past 18 months both sides have struggled for goals. Under Alberto Zaccheroni the UAE scored just 10 goals in the past nine matches — five of those coming against lowly Kyrgyzstan and India — and likewise the Green Falcons have also struggled to find the back of the net. Heading toward the World Cup qualifiers, now is the time to find those scoring boots.

PUT ON A SHOW

Both sides have technically gifted players, can keep the ball and at times trouble opposition defenses. But both have been too defensive, too safety-first and, at times, too dull. Football is supposed to be entertainment, and the friendlies ahead of the World Cup qualifiers might be no bad time to throw caution to the wind and see what the players can do in the final third.

SET THE TONE

As the modern cliche goes, a week is a long time in football. With all the sackings and player movements, it is not hard to see the kernel of truth in that overused saying. But, conversely, time can also move very fast in the “Beautiful Game.” It may be six months before the World Cup qualifiers begin, but it will be September before the coaches and players know it. Set the tone and tactics now and triumphs will be easier to come by then and, more importantly, further into the future.