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Pakistan bat against Somerset in England tour opener

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TAUNTON: Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq won the toss and elected to bat against Somerset at Taunton in his country’s first first-class match on English soil since their controversial ‘spot-fixing’ tour of 2010.

During that year’s Test against England at Lord’s, Mohammad Amir and Pakistan new-ball partner Mohammad Asif bowled no-balls to order on the instructions of their captain Salman Butt as part of a sting operation carried out by a tabloid newspaper.

All three received five-year bans from cricket and, together with sports agent Mazhar Majeed, jail terms.

However, Amir returned to international cricket earlier this year and could make his Test comeback at Lord’s where Pakistan face England in the first of a four-Test series on July 14.

Amir was included in the Pakistan side selected for the Somerset match.

Taunton was the venue for Pakistan’s first match after the 2010 controversy at Lord’s. with the tourists thn playing Somerset in a one-day match.

This fixture is Pakistan’s first of two three-day games before the first Test at Lord’s, with Misbah’s men playing Sussex at Hove from July 8-10.

Teams

Somerset: Marcus Trescothick, Adam Hose, Tim Rouse, James Hildreth, Peter Trego (capt), Alex Barrow (wkt), Josh Davey, Dom Bess, Jack Leach, Tim Groenewald, Paul van Meekeren

Pakistan: Mohammad Hafeez, Shan Masood, Azhar Ali, Younis Khan, Misbah-ul-Haq (capt), Asad Shafiq, Sarfraz Ahmed (wkt), Mohammad Amir, Sohail Khan, Yasir Shah, Rahat Ali

Umpires: Billy Taylor (ENG), Tom Lungley (ENG)

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