Panesar stakes Test claim

2012-01-12 15:40
Monty Panesar (File)

Dubai - Left-arm spinner Monty Panesar reminded selectors he could still be good for Test cricket by grabbing five wickets to help England dominate the three-day match against Pakistan Cricket Board XI here on Thursday.

The 29-year-old finished with 5-57 in a brilliant display of spin bowling on a slow turning pitch at the Global Cricket Academy to help England restrict the PCB XI to 200-9 declared in their first innings.

England, who declared their first-innings at 269-9, finished the second day on 82-0, with captain Andrew Strauss on 36 and Jonathan Trott, promoted to open the innings after three failures on the tour, was 39 not out.

England have an overall lead of 151 and were in a good position to make it two in two games after beating ICC Combined XI by three wickets in the tour opener or go for a full day's batting practice.

That will be a big boost for Strauss's men before the first of three Tests against Pakistan which starts here from Tuesday.

Panesar, who played last of his 39 Tests at Cardiff in the 2009 Ashes, bowled with variation after the PCB XI resumed the day on 22-0.

Chris Tremlett (2-30) and Graham Onions (1-52) had opened the gates before Panesar helped England take four wickets in the space of 18 runs, leaving their opponents reeling from 101-4 to 119-8.

Had it not been for a fighting ninth wicket stand of 54 between Raza Hasan (50 not out) and Mohammad Talha (31), the PCB XI would have succumbed before reaching the 150-mark.

The 19-year-old Hasan hit eight boundaries during his maiden first-class fifty.

Mohammad Ayub, top run getter in Pakistan's 2010-2011 season, made 33 before Panesar forced an egde off him to wicket-keeper Matt Prior.

England's regular Test spinner Graeme Swann managed 1-49.

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