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Pakistan overcome Higgins heroics

Pakistan Under-19s established themselves as the early pacesetters in the Abu Dhabi Tri-series after a three-wicket win over England in a low-scoring encounter.

Fresh from victory over hosts UAE yesterday, England encountered early trouble as Zia ul-Haq and Irfanullah Shah impressed with the new ball for Pakistan.

Ryan Higgins held England's innings together with an excellent 80 but Pakistan went on to claim a three-wicket win in Abu Dhabi

Zia had Dominic Sibley caught at the wicket for nought, while Shah removed Harry Finch and Jonathan Tattersall lbw – the former also without scoring.

Ryan Higgins weathered the storm at the top of the order and, when he was the sixth wicket to fall, the Middlesex man had contributed 80 of his team’s 122 runs.

Rob Jones scored 35 but it was the only other notable contribution as England were dismissed for 168 with seven overs remaining, left-armer Zia returning to clean up the tail and claim 3-32.

Yorkshire’s Josh Shaw led the fightback, claiming three wickets with the new ball to leave Pakistan tottering on 32 for three in the eighth over of their response.

County colleague Will Rhodes accounted for Hussain Talat shortly afterwards but that brought Saud Shakeel to the crease and his was a match-winning contribution.

By the time he was bowled by Rhodes, Shakeel had 63 to his name having shared fifty partnerships with opener Imam ul-Haq – scorer of a dogged and vital 49 from 85 deliveries – and Zafar Gohar.

At that stage Pakistan were 166 for seven and they would reach their victory target for no further loss with 35 balls to spare.