Steven Finn pushes Test claims with four wickets in second warm-up

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Steven Finn took most notable advantage as England gave opportunities to all in their second warm-up match against Pakistan A, the paceman claiming four wickets for only five runs.

The tourists' management team have been at pains to insist all 16 squad members would have an opportunity to push for a place in next week's first Test in Abu Dhabi.

True to their word, they came up with a contingency in Sharjah which found room for Finn and Liam Plunkett to lead the attack on the first day, and on day two Alex Hales to open with Moeen Ali, and James Taylor fit in the middle order.


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Finn responded with figures of 11-7-5-4, to put himself conceivably in the mix to rival Mark Wood as prospective third seamer when the three-Test series gets under way against Pakistan.

By tea, on a livelier pitch than the one played on four strips away earlier in the week, the hosts had struggled to 120 for six in 58 overs.

Finn made the early breakthroughs.

Khurram Manzoor edged a good delivery behind, pushing forward at a little extra bounce, then number three Ali Asad's attempt to drive resulted only in a catch at second slip for Ian Bell.

Moeen again got first run among the spinners and soon served up a wicket when Fawad Alam, an inclusion in Pakistan's Test squad and with a 50 under his belt from the first match here, edged to slip to go - like Asad - for a duck.

It was a deserved success for Moeen, with one that turned enough from round the wicket to find the forward-defensive edge.

Ben Stokes might have joined him in the final column with a short ball which lifted to hit Iftikhar Ahmed's glove, but Jonny Bairstow, keeping wicket for the first 50 overs in place of Jos Buttler, could not cling on to a diving chance low to his right.

Iftikhar was therefore reprieved on one, having twice been dropped by England too on Tuesday - when he made an unbeaten 92.

But it was not costly this time, because he became a gimme wicket for Finn straight after lunch, trapped lbw aiming to clip his first delivery of the session to leg.

Finn doubled up two balls later, consigning Usman Salahuddin to the third duck of the innings when he edged low to third slip.

Adil Rashid, as two days ago, was liable to bowl a four ball each over, but he made chances too.

The first, Umar Amin on four, was a sharp one which just evaded Taylor at short-leg.

But Rashid took out mainstay opener Sami Aslam seven short of his 50 when he found the left-hander's outside-edge from round the wicket, and Stokes took a neat catch at slip.

That was 73 for six, but Umar Amin and Adnan Akmal then shared an unbroken stand of 47.

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Steven Finn
England cricket

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