Danish Kaneria helps Essex top table with 5-32 haul

Thursday, June 14, 2007

KARACHI: Pakistan leg-spinner Danish Kaneria, who has expressed his desire to represent the country in the couple of One-day Internationals set to be played in Scotland in early July, did his chances a world of good as he helped Essex soar to the top of the Friends Provident Trophy South Conference, with his English county running away with a seven-wicket triumph over Somerset at the County Ground in Chelmsford on Wednesday.

The 26-year-old Kaneria from Karachi captured five wickets for 32 runs in his 10 overs for Essex yesterday, as Somerset were bowled out for 193 runs in 49.4 overs. Essex lost three wickets in making 194 runs while winning the match with as many as 94 balls to spare.

Essex, third on the 10-team table before the start of the match, jumped up to the first position after collecting the two points for victory. From nine matches, of which they have won six and lost two, they now have a tally of 13 points, one more than Hampshire and two more than both Kent and Gloucestershire.

Of the other Pakistanis currently contracted by the various English counties, only Yasir Arafat for Kent and Azhar Mahmood for Surrey were playing for their teams in the Friends Provident Trophy in Wednesday’s round of matches.

Leicestershire didn’t include leg-spinning all-rounder Mansoor Amjad in their line-up against Derbyshire, both Rana Naved-ul-Hasan and Mushtaq Ahmed were missing from Sussex’s encounter against Middlesex and Yorkshire didn’t play Younis Khan in the game against Northamptonshire.

Kaneria, incidentally, has picked up a five-wicket haul in a limited overs cricket match for the first time on England soil. He has, however, reached this tally on three previous occasions — every time in Pakistan.

His best figures in a one-day match are 5-21 in eight overs, for Habib Bank against Pakistan Customs in the 2005-06 Patron’s Cup final, here at the NBP Sports Complex Stadium as Habib Bank won by 37 runs.

Danish Kaneria who, with a total of 44 wickets, is already the highest wicket-taker in the England first-class season this summer, has also gone to the top of the limited overs matches table.

He has joined Australia’s fast-medium bowler Stuart Clark, who is playing for Hampshire, in first position as both have a total of 18 wickets each.

In six matches, Clark has taken his 18 wickets at just 11.16 runs apiece. Kaneria is not too far behind: his 18 have been picked up at only 13.77 runs each though from eight appearances.

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Will Pakistan Premier League gain success just like Indian Premier League ?