Captain Key notches tonSean Bennett |
Another day. Another injury blow for England. Another game for England’s next opponents, Pakistan. This time, they face England A at Canterbury, and the first day was dominated by a fluent hundred from Rob Key.
Rolling in off the back of their victory against Leicestershire, and looking to build some momentum and form to go into the first Test with, Pakistan were put in the field after Key won the toss. But they struck early when Mohammad Sami removed Alistair Cook for three. Cook, who’s a certainty to start the Test series, edged to the usual wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal at first slip, who made no mistake. Faisal Iqbal, who took over the wicketkeeping duties for this game, is unlikely to threaten Akmal, conceding 18 byes in the day.
Key and Ian Bell then got together and put on 160 for the second wicket, as both looked to prove to Duncan Fletcher that he had been wrong in discarding them from the England side. The 150 partnership was brought up with a straight six hit by Key off legspinner Danish Kaneria.
However, Umar Gul broke the partnership, get Bell caught behind by Faisal for 74. Owais Shah came to the crease and made a scratchy 23 before being caught by Imran Farhat off Kaneria. He was followed by Ravinder Bopara, who also scratched around, but saw England A to stumps with Key finishing on 128 to set up a chance for England to build a decent score on day two.
England A 268-3
Rob Key 128*, Ian Bell 74
Mohammad Sami 1-36, Umar Gul 1-39