After a two-month gap from international cricket, Pakistan are in Scotland to acclimatize themselves to the conditions before the next month’s Champions Trophy. Pakistan claimed a hefty 96-run victory over Scotland, thanks to stunning performances by the team’s Test and ODI captain Mishab-ul-Haq and by bowlers. Pakistani bowlers defended the 231-run target well, whereas except Misbah, a big question mark still hangs over the capabilities of team’s batsmen.

[caption id="attachment_982" align="alignright" width="241"]Mibah-ul-Haq played a victorious innings of 83 runs off 80 balls (Photo: Getty Images) Mibah-ul-Haq played a victorious innings of 83 runs off 80 balls (Photo: Getty Images)[/caption]

In the morning when the temperature was nine degrees Celsius, Pakistan elected to bat after winning the toss. Despite making a good start of 50 runs, Pakistan failed to piggyback on that and half of the team were back to the pavilion on 115. The only noteworthy performance from the top-order was by Imran Farhat who scored 46. But again he faced 70 balls for that. Nasir Jamshed scored 20, Mohammad Hafeez 18, Asad Shafique nine and Umar Amin scored three.

At that stage, Misbah proved why he was the team’s captain. After the fall of sixth wicket of Kamran Akmal in the 37th over, it seemed that Pakistan could not cross 200-run mark as the total score was 144. But Misbah put in an 83-run unbeatable innings and led Pakistan’s score to 231. His innings was studded with two sixes and three fours. Saeed Ajmal gave his full support to the skipper, scoring 28 off 28.

Majid Haq was leading wicket-taker for Scotland with three wickets. Neil Carter, Iain Wardlaw, Rob Taylor and Matt Machan took one wicket apiece.

Pakistan did not give Scotland a chance from the very outset. After their first wicket fell on zero, the 52-run partnership between the newly made captain Kyle Coetzer and Josh Davey was the only resistance from the hosts. Both players made the most of the familiar conditions and faced Mohammad Irfan and Junaid Khan with determination until Kamran Akmal ended the partnership with a riveting catch. Pakistani bowlers ruled the game after that and restricted the opponents to 135 in 40 overs. Coetzer made 32 off 60 – the highest score for Scotland in the match – while Davey scored 20 off 23. None of their remaining player could pass 15 runs.

Ajmal and Junaid took three wickets each and Irfan, Ehsan Adil and Mohammad Hafeez took one wicket apiece.

Pakistan have taken an unassailable lead in the two-match series. The second and the last match of the series will be played on May 19 in Edinburgh.
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