Finn shows form for England in tour game
October 08 2015 11:46 PM

Pakistan ‘A’ batsman Mohamed Iftikhar plays a shot during the first day of a two-day warm-up match against an England XI at The Sharjah Cricket Stadium in Sharjah yesterday.


Lanky paceman Steven Finn grabbed four wickets and leg-spinner Adil Rasheed took three to show some early form in the two-day tour game against Pakistan ‘A’ in Sharjah yesterday.  
Finn took 4-16 in his probing 15 overs, while Rasheed had figures of 3-53 in 19 overs, as England decided to give its bowlers more of a work out after winning the toss on the first day.
For Pakistan ‘A’, comprising of the country’s best performers in domestic matches, Test discard Adnan Akmal (74 not out), Sami Aslam (43) and Umar Amin (39) managed to put up some fight in an unimpressive 192-9 at close.
Finn, recalled to the Test side in the recently concluded Ashes after a break of two years, staked his claims by taking two wickets in his first seven overs. He dismissed opener Khurram Manzoor and Ali Asad and then had two more wickets in his second spell after lunch as Pakistan ‘A’ struggled to 73-6.
Adnan and Amin then added 93 for the seventh wicket to rescue the hosts before spinners Samit Patel (2-31) and Rasheed cleaned up the tail.
“Having only bowled four or five-over spells in the nets, to then get 15 overs under my belt in a game situation, I felt good for it,” said Finn, who was part of the squad when England was routed by Pakistan 3-0 in 2012 but did not play in any Test.
And he still feels he would not make the eleven for the first Test starting in Abu Dhabi from October 13.
“I’d say I’ve staked a claim ... (but) I’d still be surprised if I played the first Test,” said Finn.
“I think the guys bowled really well the other day, and it wouldn’t surprise me if the team that was picked then is the team for the first Test,” he said, referring to the first warm-up he was not selected for.  
Finn said England bowlers were happy with the work out.
“Having 88 overs in our legs at the end of the day is a very good thing for us—and even your top-order batsmen coming out again is more of a challenge for us.
“You want to be challenged as much as you can in these practice games, so you’re not surprised when it comes to the Test matches.”
The second practice game is the last opportunity for England before the first Test from October 13. The other two Tests will be played in Dubai from October 22-26 and in Sharjah from November 1-5.  Both teams will also play four one-day internationals and three Twenty20 matches.

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