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Last Updated: Sunday, 9 July 2006, 17:40 GMT 18:40 UK
Rain-hit Pakistan game is drawn
Tour match, Canterbury (day four): England A 595-9 dec & 153-1 dec drew with Pakistan 242-9 & 154-2

Alastair Cook
Cook was unbeaten on 80 when the declaration came
England A's game with Pakistan petered out into a farcical draw in rain-hit Canterbury, after not a single wicket fell in the 84 overs of the final day.

Alastair Cook (80 not out) and Ian Bell (50) hit half-centuries before the hosts declared on 153-1, 507 ahead.

Pakistan opted for batting practice in the afternoon, while England skipper Rob Key used 10 bowlers.

Only Matthew Hoggard, absent injured, did not turn his arm over as even keeper Chris Read bowled three overs.

After a delayed start which saw 15 overs wiped off the day's allocation, paceman Mohammad Sami joined Pakistan's lengthy injury list after he was hit on the knee by Cook while fielding during the morning.

The tourists are already without Shoaib Akhtar (ankle) and Rana Naved (groin), and Mohammad Asif (elbow) is a doubt for the first Test, which begins on Thursday, 13 July.

They have now called up left-armer Samiullah Niazi.

Determined to preserve their remaining pace bowlers, Pakistan used opening batsmen Salman Butt and Imran Farhat as part-time spin bowlers for the entire 34 overs of day four before the declaration came.

Once they retired two batsmen it was no longer a competitive game, and we acted accordingly

England A coach Peter Moores
First-choice gloveman Kamran Akmal again did not keep wicket as a precaution after bruising his left index finger on Thursday morning.

Then, after Butt and Farhat had survived an hour against the new ball, Key turned to occasional bowlers, including four overs of his own gentle off-spinners.

Butt (50) and Farhat (54) eventually both retired to give Mohammad Yousuf and skipper Inzamam-ul-Haq more time in the middle, ahead of the Test.

Yousuf avoided a pair, following his first-innings duck, but escaped on 18 when a return catch was not taken by Ian Bell.

Bell - whose medium pace may be used by England at Lord's, depending on their final selection on Thursday - sent down five overs of off-spin, all maidens.

When stumps were eventually drawn, after Read and all the remaining players had taken their turn to bowl, Pakistan had reached 154-2.

Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer insisted that the day's events would not affect their preparation for the first Test.

"If anything, it is going to make us more steely about what we have to do in the Test series," he said.

"If I had been a member of the public I would not have been too pleased with what was going on. I can understand why England did it, but I don't agree with it.

Chris Read
England wicket-keeper Chris Read bowled three overs
"I assume that the England A side wanted to play it 'hard' and keep us in the field as long as they could to tire our bowlers out.

"When that became obvious, we stopped bowling our main seamers. In that respect it stopped being a game of cricket, which was a shame, but there we are."

However, England A coach Peter Moores retorted: "We played really hard cricket for everything but the last hour of the game.

"Once they retired two batsmen it was no longer a competitive game, it was a net and we acted accordingly.

"We played the game hard, I would suggest, longer than they did. We set out to score a big score on what was arguably a flat pitch, then bowled them out and they put themselves in a position of being under the eight ball.

"When we went out again we did so to play proper cricket and bowl with our proper bowlers.

"You would have to argue that when we had only four overs of seam bowled against us they didn't quite do that, in the spirit of the game."


England recall Bell for Pakistan
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08 Jul 06 |  England
Hoggard injury scare for England
08 Jul 06 |  England
Read hits ton to nudge selectors
07 Jul 06 |  England
Key and Bell make Pakistan toil
06 Jul 06 |  England
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27 Jun 06 |  Future tour dates
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