A tale of toothless bowlers

Shahid Nazir, Iftikhar Anjum, Samiullah Khan Niazi, Jannisar Khan, Arshad Khan. Not a bowling attack that would strike fear into many batsmen’s hearts, though quite possibly one leaving a batsman scratching his head wondering who they are. The Northants batsmen had alot of time to ponder that as the tourists fetched the ball from the boundary.

Forty-three fours and one maximum were sent crashing off the 62.3 overs sent down by the Pakistanis, giving Northants a run rate of almost 3 without singles/twos/threes on top of that. Stephen Peters had a particularly good day, compiling 142 off 195 deliveries before Northants, just to rub salt in the ruin, decided they’d had enough and declared on the fall of his wicket.

To start the day, Peters shared a 71 run stand with Bilal Shafayat, with the latter hitting a 36 ball 30 before Samiullah coaxed him into finding Pakistan’s captain for the match, Younis Khan. Irishman Andrew White also looked to score quickly off this modest Pakistan attack, striking 2 fours and a six in his 16 balls before edging Jannisar’s medium pace to Kamran Akmal behind the stumps for 15.

Peters was joined at the fall of that wicket by ex-England Test player, Usman Afzaal, and the pair put on 170 runs for the third wicket in quick time, with all of the toothless Pakistani seamers taking yet more stick. Finally Samiullah managed to pick up a second wicket when Peters found Faisal Iqbal. At that point, David Sales called a halt to the slaughter and declared at 269/3, with Afzaal finishing unbeaten on 71.

In response, Pakistani opener Salman Butt edged Charl Pietersen to wicketkeeper Riki Wessels after scoring a solitary 4 in his previous three balls. Butt’s partner Imran Farhat followed soon after for 4 also. Ben Phillips claiming the wicket.

As a whole, Northamptonshire’s seam attack was little better than Pakistan’s, and Taufeeq Umar and Younis Khan looked to exploit this. Umar scored 29 at more than a run a ball before edging David Wigley behind, but Younis continued majestically, with Faisal keeping him company for the last hour, reaching an unbeaten 50 to take the score to a still precarious 97/3 at stumps.

Northamptonshire 269/3 declared
Stephen Peters 142, Usman Afzaal 71*
Samiullah Khan 2/35, Jannisar Khan 1/28

Pakistan 97/3
Younis Khan 50*, Taufeeq Umar 29
Ben Phillips 1/22, David Wigley 1/27

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