Pakistan County Championship round-up: Shan Masood, Hasan Ali take top billing

The second spherical of the 2022 County Championship concluded on Sunday, with one other robust displaying from the Pakistan representatives. Right here we check out how they bought on.

Hasan Ali
If anybody of Pakistan’s huge contingent in county cricket wants a little bit of a reset and a refresh, it’s Hasan Ali. For many of 2021, he was second solely to Shaheen Afridi as Pakistan’s greatest bowler. However because the T20 World Cup – and admittedly principally in white-ball cricket – he has appeared out of kinds. An harm picked up within the PSL, allied to a variety of flat pitches, meant he was quiet within the Checks towards Australia and instantly questions started to floor about his place within the facet. Hasan has all the time been a bowler of streaks: irresistible when he is on a great one, bizarre when he is on a nasty one. Match figures of 5 for 94 in a 10-wicket thumping of Kent is an effective signal for the county, and a greater signal for his nation. Most pleasing can be stories that his in-dipper was in good working order: he’s a unique bowler when he is getting the ball to maneuver about. The bonus is that he could come out of it having learnt one thing from the maestro himself, Jimmy Anderson. He’s keen to, not least the wobble-seam (a pleasant full circle that one, given Anderson picked it up watching Mohammad Asif in 2010).
Haris Rauf
Of all Pakistani hook-ups with county cricket, none is extra intriguing than Haris Rauf at Yorkshire, and that is not even contemplating the off-field significance of a Pakistani Muslim participant at Headingley. Rauf is because of play six first-class video games, which signifies that if he performs all of them, he can have performed extra first-class video games this season for Yorkshire than in his whole profession earlier than arriving right here. And although he was a part of Pakistan’s Take a look at squad towards Australia, that is actually the primary time he will be seen as a long-form bowler. First impressions? It may be a journey. He was fast by way of the sport on a gradual floor in Bristol – the quickest within the sport, hitting James Bracey twice with bouncers. He was costly too, going at over 5 an over within the first innings and three.55 within the second. Three wickets in every innings played a part in a six-wicket win, however he was additionally box-office viewing. On the primary day, as Rauf’s radar struggled towards Gloucestershire’s left-handers, he additionally bowled one over through which there have been two dropped catches off successive balls and two wickets off successive balls. An indication of his freshness on this format: he bowled 27 overs within the second innings, probably the most he has ever bowled in a first-class innings and solely the second time he is bowled greater than 20.
Zafar Gohar
Zafar Gohar‘s sport started by getting stumped for a duck within the first innings, leaping out to Dom Bess, and ended by going at over six an over as Yorkshire chased 211 to win. Within the center, although, the least high-profile of Pakistan’s contingent did what he so usually does: contribute. He was probably the most economical of Gloucestershire’s assault within the first innings, earlier than partnering with Bracey within the second and placing on 104 for the sixth wicket. That helped Gloucestershire set Yorkshire an honest – however not, alas, impregnable – goal.
Shan Masood
Shan Masood is the main first-class run-getter in England after two rounds of the County Championship: now there is a factor. Masood added to an encouraging begin at Derbyshire with the first double-hundred of his career against Sussex. It was towards a weakened assault – Steven Finn aside, the remainder of the frontline bowlers (two pacers and a left-arm spinner) had performed 23 first-class video games between them earlier than this one, with a mixed age of 57. However first-class runs are first-class runs and tellingly, for what it says about Masood’s latest type, they got here at a great clip: at lunch, he was 74 off 88 and at shut he was unbeaten on 201, nonetheless hanging at over 74. He stays in Pakistan’s Take a look at plans however the extra runs he scores right here, the extra probably that he’ll, earlier than the 12 months is out, be again in Pakistan’s Take a look at XI.
Mohammad Rizwan
Critical query: is there a greater cricketer on the earth proper now than Mohammad Rizwan? In all probability, however not that many and never by a lot. Which is why Sussex can be one of many better-followed groups (outdoors of England) this season. In buying each Rizwan and Cheteshwar Pujara, they’ve pulled off considerably of a coup. There will be loads of deal with an Indian and Pakistani in the identical facet county facet, a little bit of a throwback to the 70s county circuit when Bishen Bedi and Mushtaq Mohammad turned out for Northants collectively. Rizwan was unspectacular on debut, 22 and 4 catches – Pujara, in the meantime, floor out a match-saving double-hundred – nevertheless it’s inconceivable that he will not have higher impression because the season continues.
Mohammad Abbas
Pretty much as good as Hampshire appeared within the first spherical towards Somerset, so that they appeared bizarre within the second; an innings win {followed} by an innings defeat. Mohammad Abbas took six low cost wickets in that win; he took zero on this defeat. He was nonetheless very Abbas although, tidy as ever (financial system fee of two.16) and ceaselessly probing round these areas batters really feel least snug with. There have been probabilities, one edge falling in need of slip – an Abbas leitmotif – and one other that went by way of second slip’s hand, however no tangible reward.

And the non-combatants …

Naseem Shah sat out this spherical of video games, with Gloucestershire saying they had been managing a “minor shoulder harm”. Azhar Ali will subsequent be in motion at residence to Sussex on Thursday, with Worcestershire not in motion this week. And Shaheen Shah Afridi is more likely to make his Middlesex debut in the identical spherical of video games, once they tackle Glamorgan in Cardiff.

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