Wickets shared as bowlers test Pakistan

SCORE | Day 1 of 2, Tourist Match Leicestershire CCC v Pakistan 321 for 9

SCORECARD | Available through ESPN Cricinfo

REACTION | Lewis Hill spoke to BBC Radio Leicester's Richard Rae at stumps

HIGHLIGHTS | In-play highlights are available throughout the 2018 season

REPORT | Leicestershire CCC’s bowlers worked hard to restrict the Pakistan touring side to 321 for 9 on the first day of the two-day tourist match.

Wickets were shared by the Foxes attack, with two apiece for Tom Wells, Dieter Klein, Ateeq Javid and Aadil Ali, while there was also a run out.

Pakistan openers Azhar Ali and Fakhar Zaman made scores in the 70s, and Usman Salahuddin recorded 69 not out, but the bowlers stuck to their task on a hot day at the Fischer County Ground.

The Foxes named a team featuring a current Academy player in Ben Mike and five graduates in Aadil, Wells, Lewis Hill, Sam Evans and Harry Swindells.

Harry Dearden and Richard Jones were making their first appearances for the First XI after injury but Zak Chappell missed out due to a shoulder niggle.

There was a proud moment for Hill, who was named as captain of Leicestershire CCC for the first time, and his side were in the field after Pakistan won the toss.

Klein and Tom Taylor took the new ball, and Azhar and Fakhar opened the batting for Pakistan. Both looked in good form, driving the ball through the covers when the opportunity arose.

County rotated three bowlers throughout the first hour with Jones replacing Klein at the Pavilion End before Klein himself replaced Taylor after he had bowled seven overs. Azhar and Fakhar put on 50 for the first wicket in the 16th over.

The openers upped the tempo by hitting five boundaries in the space of eight balls, and Fakhar reached his half-century from 81 balls (10x4). 

County made their first breakthrough towards the end of the opening session as Fakhar (71) skied a Wells delivery and Javid ran back to a good catch at cover. Lunch was taken with the score at 121 for 1.

Azhar drove Wells crisply through the covers for two consecutive fours to reach his own half-century (87 balls, 10x4) early in the afternoon session.

Mike came on for his first bowl of the day, while at the other end, Klein was bowling nicely and got the second wicket with a beauty, Sami Aslam (8) bowled by a ball that nipped away.

Klein struck again after 20 runs had been added, this time dismissing Azhar for a well-made 73 as he played on to his stumps. 

Captain Sarfraz Ahmed (17) hit the off-spin of Javid for six over the in-field and a ball later tried the same, this time hitting a skier to Hill at mid-on. 

The last over before tea followed the same pattern as the first interval as County took a wicket. Aadil, bowling his second over of the day, took a very sharp return catch to dismiss Saad Ali (2).

Pakistan went into tea at 207 for 5 and Salahuddin and Shadab Khan went on to add 38 before Shadab (17) was bowled by Wells. Faheem Ashraf (15) became a second wicket for Javid after miscuing a cover drive straight to Wells at cover. 

The eighth wicket fell quickly after; Salahuddin hit one to Dearden at cover, Hasan Ali (5) had committed to the single only to be sent back, and the fielder calmly threw to bowler Javid who whipped the bails off.

Foxes overseas player Muhammad Abbas played some good shots while Salahuddin grafted his way to 50 from 123 balls (2x4) as the duo shared 49. Abbas (16) then holed out to Hill at mid-on off Aadil in what proved to be the last act of the day.

TEAM | Hill (capt), Evans, Dearden, Aadil, Javid, Wells, Swindells (wk), Taylor, Mike, Klein, Jones. 

FIGURES | Klein 18-3-44-2, Taylor 17-2-49-0, Jones 13-1-73-0, Wells 14-3-45-2, Javid 15-3-42-2, Mike 7-1-28-0, Aadil 5.5-0-28-2.

PHOTO | Thanks to Ed Melia for the photo of Tom Wells bowling today.

* Admission to the second day's play against Pakistan costs £5 for adults and £1 for under 16s. You can also follow the Foxes at the Fischer County Ground throughout the 2018 season by becoming a Member of the club. For further details on the advantages of joining us, please follow the link HERE