Pakistan hold off determined de Bruyn
Pakistan overcame setbacks on and off the field to beat Somerset by eight runs in today's limited-overs warm-up match in Taunton.
With Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamer left out of their side for this 50-over match, the tourists could hardly afford two more injuries in what has become a threadbare squad.
That, though, is what happened. Key Twenty20 batsman Umar Akmal was hit in the face through his helmet grille before the start of play and Abdul Razzaq was unable to bowl after hurting his back.
Somerset declined a request to allow 12th man Wahab Riaz to bowl - and without his help, Pakistan were pushed all the way by Zander de Bruyn's 122 not out, outdoing the efforts of Shahzaib Hasan, who made 105, and Fawad Alam’s 97, on a batsman's pitch.
But South African de Bruyn was just unable to topple the tourists' 264.
After being put in on a sunny day, Pakistan's innings was a curious one.
Mark Turner saw off both Mohammad Hafeez and Azhar Ali for ducks in the fourth over, but Mohammad Yousuf was leading a recovery until he set off for an unwise single to mid-on and was run out by Somerset captain Peter Trego.
Shahzaib and Alam shared a stand of 169 in 30 overs which provided all the impetus for the Pakistan total.
But some good bowling under pressure from teenage debutant Lewis Gregory and others - and some hapless batting - prevented Pakistan pushing on to 300 or more.
Shahzaib was caught in the leg-side deep off de Bruyn, ending a 120-ball innings which contained 10 fours and two sixes.
Alam was yorked by Turner, with his century in sight, but it was medium-pacer Gregory who did the most damage, taking three wickets in his final over - a maiden which snuffed out the big-hitting ambitions of Shahid Afridi, Razzaq and Umar Gul.
Pakistan's last wicket fell with 15 balls left unused when Shoaib Akhtar went walkabout after driving the ball back at Trego, who turned and threw athletically to run out the number 11.
Somerset lost Craig Kieswetter early in their reply. But Nick Compton helped number three de Bruyn keep the hosts on course - and they stayed that way almost till the end, despite some tight overs from the Pakistan spinners.
As the asking rate spiralled, wickets duly fell too, Saeed Ajmal and Gul each taking three.
De Bruyn never gave up, though, in a 142-ball innings containing 10 fours, and only when he missed a chance to hit an Ajmal full toss for his second six from the penultimate ball of the match was it clear that Pakistan would prevail.
Trego explained he had refused the request for Riaz to bowl only because he wanted to protect the fixture as a competitive one, so that 18-year-old Gregory would retain the figures he had earned.
"My understanding of it is that the game started as a List A game and to my knowledge, you're not allowed to play 12 players in a List A game," he said.
"Our youngster got four wickets on debut, so I was concerned if we played 12 it would be deemed a friendly - and he would lose his four wickets.
"I was worried about the legitimacy of the game because Lewis Gregory took 4-49 and he'd be savaged if he got those figures taken away from him.
"Triple-wicket maiden, inside a powerplay - fair play to him."