In order to get in grove before the England Tour officially kicks off, Pakistan played their second warm up match, this time against Northamptonshire. The men in green made most of this opportunity and completely dismantled the English side.
On a bright sunny day at County ground Northampton, the home side won the toss and chose to bat first. The idea behind was to make most of the good batting conditions early on and put pressure on Pakistan while they chase, but things did not go well as planned by the skipper Josh Cobb. The hosts came to bat and their opener Richard Levi was bowled by pacer Muhammad Amir on the very first delivery of the match. Next in came Captain Cobb to partner with Ben Curran. The pair added good few runs before Mohammad Hasnain bowled Ben Curran with the Northamptonshire score of 48 runs. Ricardo Vasconcelos, the wicket keeper batsman arrived on the crease but just an over later a speedy bouncer from Mohammad Hasnain hit his helmet on the side. As a result of which the 21 year old was forced to go back retired hurt.
Thurston was the next in line, with the score of 56-2 and a man down due to injury the hosts looked to crumble. Thurston added 25 runs before being caught by Harris Sohail on his own delivery. Saif Zaib, was also caught by the bowler himself, this time in Yasir Shah’s appearance. Ian Holland contributed 9 before he was bowled by the left arm fast bowler Junaid Khan. But Cobbs in the meanwhile was rock solid on the other end and completed his half century. He partnered with his lower order batsmen Sole and Hutton to pile up a good total. Sole was caught leg before wicket in Imad Wasim’s over, while Hutton remained not out with a valuable 32. The man of the hour was Northamptonshire Captain, Josh Cobbs, who remained unbeaten with a delightful innings of 146 with a dozen boundaries and half a dozen sixes to his name. Northamptonshire set a target of 274 runs for Pakistan to chase.
In reply, Pakistan openers did not hold themselves back and took on the bowlers hitting for runs all around. Pakistan reached the score of 50 in just 6 overs.
Fakhar Zaman was on fire scoring ruthlessly while on the other end Imam was also merciless. Soon, Fakhar Zaman completed his ton with 15 beautiful boundaries and one huge six in his innings. Just after crossing the landmark, the Left hander was deceived by a slow ball which went onto hit the wicket. Pakistan lost its first wicket on 157, Babar Azam came in and joined the party until Imam ul Haq was dismissed after a wonderful 71. Sarfraz moved himself up the order and contributed well. Pakistan chased the target in the 41 overs, with Babar unbeaten on 68 and Sarfaraz not out on 30 embracing the victory with 8 wickets.