Pakistan’s upredictability will be surprise weapon: Lawson

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

KARACHI: Fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar finally competed in a practice game here on Monday but failed to impress much in two three-over spells here at the National Stadium.

Shoaib was wayward and lacked the sort of sharpness that earned him high praise from team officials during the Lahore-leg of the national training camp earlier this month. He bowled in both the innings of the practice T20 match played between Tigers and Panthers and in a total of six overs gave away 65 runs at almost 11 an over without taking a single wicket.

Shoaib, 31, gave away 24 in three overs in the first innings when he bowled against youngsters Khurram Manzoor, Khalid Latif and Shahid Yousuf of Pakistan Panthers. He was more expensive in the second innings when he was faced by the in-form openers Salman Butt and Imran Nazir of Pakistan Tigers and gave away 41 in three overs.

The pacer didn’t field in either innings and raised concern among the media people when he went out of the field after bowling three overs in the first innings. However, team manager Talat Ali Malik said that his bowler suffered from dehydration which is why he had to take a break.

“Shoaib felt a bit dehydrated and came back to take some liquids. He did go back and bowled more overs in the second innings as well,”
said Talat, a former Pakistan Test cricketer. Shoaib hasn’t played for Pakistan since limping out of the second Test against South Africa in Port Elizabeth this January because of a knee injury. He has recovered from the injury and is now all set to lead Pakistan’s pace attack in the Twenty20 World Cup to be held in South Africa in September.

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