Young Kent side perform brightly in opening session against the Pakistanis

Sunday 27th June 2010

Azhar Mahmood ledthe side and took one for23 on the first morning

Kent v The Pakistanis, Canterbury June 28-30.
By Mark Pennell
An experimental Kent side took four Pakistan wickets in the opening sessions but night have done even better had they caught all their catches as the tourists went in at lunch on 112 for four after 26.3 overs.
Having slumped to 53 for three, The Pakistanis recovered to double their total through fourth-wicket partners Umer Akmal (30*) and Shoaib Malik (27) who posted 59 before Malik fell to the last ball of the session.
Kent made their first breakthrough in the third over of the day and from Matt Coles“ seventh delivery of the morning when Umer Amin (7), working across the line and aiming toward mid-wicket, missed a seaming ball to go leg before and make it 10 for one.
Salman Butt and Fawad Alam (20) took the score on to 52 before a double change in the bowling by acting captain Azhar Mahmood led to consecutive wicket maidens.
Having sent down 6-1-27-1, Coles was replaced by Dewald Nel, playing his first since April 25, struck with his third ball from the Nackington Road End to remove Fawad Alam (20) leg before despite indications that the left-hander may have got a slight inside edge on it.
In the following over Azhar Mahmood bagged the third lbw decision of the session to remove Salman Butt (26) leg before with a darting leg-cutter that cut back in to trap him on the crease.
Pakistan“s morning might have been much worse had Azhar not missed a slip chance off Coles or Mark Lawson a skied hook down at long-leg off the bowling of Nel with Umer Akmal on only seven. Running around from deep square leg the ball evaded Lawson“s dive to trickle over the ropes for a boundary.
Lawson made amends in the final over before lunch however when, with only his third ball, he teased Malik into a wide drive which he obligingly clipped to Alex Blake at backward point.
Kent took the opportunity to rest many of their first choice players for this opening game of the Pakistan tour. Joe Denly, James Hockley, Joseph and Nel all return from long-standing injuries and former Yorkshire, Middlesex and Derbyshire leg-spinner, Mark Lawson, was handed a Kent debut.
Having worked with Kent coach Paul Farbrace at England Under-19 level, the 25-year-old has been handed a chance to shine against the international visitors together with Kent youngsters James Goodman, Alex Blake, Chris Piesley and Alex Blake.
Kent team: Denly, Piesley, Blake, Hockley, Goodman, Mahmood, Coles, Dixey, Joseph, Nel, Lawson.