Plenty of experiences from Pakistan v England U-17s tour
The Pakistan and England National Under-17 teams held a tour at the ICC Academy in order to gain some competitive experience as they begin to prepare for the Under-19 ICC Cricket World Cup, which is to be held in Bangladesh in 2016. This series was a reciprocal tour organized by Pakistan Cricket Board to host the U17 series between both nations.
With several of the players who were part of the squads at the Academy likely to represent their nations at that tournament playing here, the matches they took part in gave them some very competitive match experience without the pressure the harsh spotlight of international cricket casts on them.
The teams played three one-day matches and a three-day match at the world class facilities of the ICC Academy, in addition to hosting several training sessions for the two teams and a warm-up match between them.
In the first match of the one day series, the England team batted and posted a total of 176, with May Holden contributing a large portion of his team’s runs with a polished 60. The Pakistan team. however, more than matched that total with Gulam Haider making an excellent unbeaten 74 and Gohar Hafiz contributing a sizeable 51.
Building on that momentum, the South Asians won their second match as well. The English, batting first once again, made a daunting 210, with May Holden once again excelling with the bat as he made 54, and Tom Moores posting a composed 59. Pakistan’s response came primarily from Yousaf Basher, who contributed an excellent unbeaten 74 as they surpassed the opposition team’s total.
In their final one-day encounter, the England team posted an even higher total of 225, primarily through the efforts of Saif Zaib (88) and Martin Anderson (65). This total, however, proved to be a bridge too far on the day for the Pakistani team batsmen, who were skittled for a total of 155.
With the English having restored some pride in their last one-dayer, they were out to even the odds during their upcoming three-day face-off against their opponents.
Ghulam Haider’s classy 73 and a brilliant 92 from Gohar Hafeez powered Pakistan to an impressive 337 on Day One, with the England team being dismissed for a total of 256, Sam Underdown’s brisk 81 and Saif Zaib doing well to add a respectable 65 to the score.
Pakistan picked up where they left off with their second innings, with Zeeshan Malik (59) and Gohar Hafeez (48) adding to their teams total as they made 217. With the match heading for its final day, the England team responded with a total of 156, with Saif Zaib once again excelling with the bat as he contributed 56 runs to the score, the Pakistan team were unable to bowl out the English team as the match headed towards a draw.
The Pakistan Cricket Board, who’d organised this tour, offered mementos of appreciation to all the players and technical staff involved, a mark of true sportsmanship that underlined the spirit of cricket.
ICC Academy Manager Will Kitchen was delighted to host the series. “We established the ICC Academy here to become a global sporting hub for the game, and tours like this only serve to underline that.
“What we’ve seen over the last few days is two groups of very talented players who will one day go on to represent their nations. We are proud to have assisted in their development and will be more than happy to assist them in the future as well.”