July 16th, 2006

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Toothless Pakistan desperate for return of Shoaib Akhtar

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If Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer is concerned by his team’s growing injury list, he doesn’t show it. The Englishman who has seen his players drop like nine pins in the build-up to this tour of England and on it, is in fact still able to see the funny side of it when asked to comment on how unfit are his injured players.

“Where should I begin,” he says with a wry smile. “It’s a long book.” Woolmer saw his pace spearhead Shoaib Akhtar limp out of the touring party a couple of weeks before it was scheduled to fly for England. The speedster who declared himself fit after twin knee surgery in February this year was undone by a recurring ankle stress fracture.

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Malik, Asif out, Taufeeq, Rao in as injury crisis deepens

The injured all-rounder Shoaib Malik and medium pacer Mohammad Asif requested the team management they be sent back home after the players became sure they will not be able to play any of the Tests against England, a Pakistan team official said here on Saturday, writes Khalid Hussain.

Team manager Zaheer Abbas told ‘The News’ that both Shoaib and Asif wanted to return home after medical reports confirmed their injury problems were too serious to heal in a few days.

Pakistan flew back Shoaib and Asif on Saturday and asked for opening batsman Taufeeq Umar and medium pacer Rao Iftikhar Anjum as replacements. Taufeeq and Rao are expected to arrive here on Sunday (today), said Zaheer.

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Yousuf steers Pakistan out of troubled waters with 185 not out

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Mohammad Yousuf hit a serene, unbeaten knock of 185 to keep Pakistan breathing on the third day of the opening Test as England’s grip loosened a bit on Saturday here at Lord’s.

Batting with effortless ease, Yousuf showed why he is regarded as Pakistan’s most reliable batsman after skipper Inzamam-ul-Haq with a stylish and sensitive batting display that guided Pakistan towards relative safety.

With Shahid Afridi (0) batting at the other end, the tourists were placed at†409 for seven at stumps, much better off than last evening when Steve Harmison rocked them with two wickets from three balls after England had piled up 528 runs.

Written by Team CricketViewer on July 16th, 2006 with no comments.
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