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Last Updated: Saturday, 22 July 2006, 12:13 GMT 13:13 UK
Pakistan openers set up tour win
Tour match, Northampton: Pakistan 250-9 dec & 160-3 beat Northants 269-3 dec & 140 by seven wickets

Salman Butt
Butt was out three runs short of victory
Openers Salman Butt and Imran Farhat found some form ahead of the second Test as Pakistan beat Northamptonshire by seven wickets at Wantage Road.

The duo, who both failed twice against England at Lord's, extended their stand to 118 after starting day three 24-0.

Farhat was caught at long-on off Usman Afzaal for 64, including two sixes, and Butt (84) hit 15 fours before falling to Bilal Shafayat with three needed.

Fit-again Younis Khan hit the winning runs to seal victory just before lunch.

Farhat survived an lbw appeal from Wigley before cutting Wigley for four to bring up the fifty partnership and crashing off-spinner Jason Brown over mid-wicket for six to reach his half century.

Butt followed suit and stepped up his scoring after Farhat lofted Afzaal into Rob White's hands, cracking 20 runs in three overs to take the tourists close to their target.

Taufeeq Umar had made only two when he hooked Shafayat to Wigley at long leg but although Butt followed soon after, stand-in captain Younis saw Pakistan home.

We felt we could have won the game from our first innings but we declared to give the crowd a good game

Northants skipper David Sales

Coach Bob Woolmer said he would stick with the same opening combination for Old Trafford after seeing them was pleased to see his openers had learned the lessons of their failures in the opening Test.

"We had a few harsh words to say to Salman and Imran. We have told them all they have to do is play a bit straighter - especially when they are up against the new ball," the Englishman explained.

"They have shown what they are capable of doing and I have no reason to change. My openers have a job to do and I believe they will do it.

"In the first Test nerves got the better of them but there is a lot of support from the team and they will improve in Manchester."

Northants skipper David Sales revealed a pre-match agreement with the tourists had cost his side.

The hosts batted only 62.3 overs first time round, easing to 269-3, before being bundled out for 140 on day two.

"It has been brilliant to play against a Test side but we do regret losing and being cheaply bowled out on Friday," Sales said.

"We felt we could have won the game from our first innings but we declared to give the crowd a good game.

"It was something we had discussed with Pakistan before the match."


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