Hasan Ali

Pakistan warm up for England series with Leicestershire draw

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Pakistan's bowlers were given a run-out at Leicester ahead of the first Test at Lord's on Thursday.

Pakistan completed their preparation for the upcoming England Test series with a draw against Leicestershire in a two-day tour match. 

The tourists declared overnight on 321/9, giving their bowlers a day of practice against the County Championship Division Two side at Grace Road. In reply, the hosts reached 226/6 from 75 overs before the two sides shook hands on a draw.

Having picked up a hard-fought five-wicket win against Ireland in their opponent's maiden Test match last week, Pakistan rotated their side to face Leicestershire, giving players a last chance to impress ahead of the two-Test series versus England.

And after Fakhar Zaman and Usman Salahuddin took their opportunities with the bat yesterday, scoring 71 and 69 respectively, it was the turn of the bowlers on Sunday. With Mohammad Amir rested, it fell to Hasan Ali to take the initiative.

Shadab Khan was the pick of the Pakistan bowlers, taking two wickets
Shadab Khan was the pick of the Pakistan bowlers, taking two wickets

Although Leicestershire have struggled in Division Two this season, winning one of their opening four games, the Foxes' batsmen put on a decent show. The openers saw off the opening bowlers, reaching 51/0 before leg-spinner Shadab Khan (2/32) trapped Sam Evans lbw for 22.

Medium-pacer Saad Ali then had fellow opener Harry Dearden caught by Sami Aslam for 19 as Leicestershire reached lunch on 57/2. Hasan Ali bowled with brisk pace, but it was Shadab who struck next, having Lewis Hill caught for 33.

Leicestershire's batsmen went into their shells to get to tea on 137/3, but Ateeq Javid upped the scoring after the resumption to reach 54 from 144 balls before retiring.

Mohammad Abbas took 1/42 from his 12 overs
Mohammad Abbas took 1/42 from his 12 overs

Mohammad Abbas had Luke Wells caught by Zaman for 25 and Aadil Ali (41) was stumped off the bowling of Zaman shortly after to end the wicket-taking. 

With Hasan Ali, Rahat Ali and Faheem Ashraf all going wicketless it was far from a perfect day in the field for Pakistan, with no bowler really pressing their case for selection on Thursday. Amir was struggling with injury during the final day against Ireland, meaning Pakistan may be forced to select a different fast bowler.

Pakistan, who are seventh in the ICC Test rankings, face England at Lord's on Thursday, 24 May, before travelling to Headingley on 1 June to play the second and final Test.

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