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CricketBabar Azam shines as Pakistan vs SLC Board-XI match ends in draw 

Hambantota: Babar Azam and Saud Shakeel stroked half-centuries as Pakistan’s two-day warm-up match against the SLC Board XI ended in a draw here on Wednesday.

Babar, who started the day at 14, retired after scoring 79, while Saud, who was yet to get off the mark, retired after scoring 61 as Pakistan were bowled out for 342 in reply to the home side’s 196. When the match ended, the home side were 88 for four with Salman Ali Agha picking up two wickets and Naseem Shah and Shaheen Shah Afridi bagging a wicket each.

Babar faced 113 balls and hit seven fours and a six, while Saud’s 86-ball innings included six fours. Sarfaraz Ahmed remained not out on a 26-ball 17.

The form shown by Babar, Saud and Shan Masood, along with openers Imam-ul-Haq and Abdullah Shafique, will give a lot of confidence to the Pakistan batting for the first Test, which commences in Galle on Sunday, 16 July.

Apart from the batters, Shaheen was also impressive in his return to red-ball cricket, scooping four wickets, with Hasan Ali claiming three, and Abrar Ahmed and Aamir Jamal equally sharing four wickets apiece. While Sarfaraz scored unbeaten 17 with the bat, he held four catches.

Scores in brief (day 2 of 2):

SLC Board XI 196, 46.3 overs (Oshada Fernando 113; Hasan Ali 3-22, Shaheen Shah Afridi 3-37, Aamir Jamal 2-33, Abrar Ahmed 2-52) and 88-4, 30 overs (Nuwanidu Fernando 31 not out, Nipun Dhananjaya 26 not out; Salman Ali Agha 2-18)

Pakistan 342 all-out, 78.3 overs (Shan Masood 83, Babar Azam 79 retired, Saud Shakeel 61 retired, Imam-ul-Haq 36, Abdullah Shafique 25; Lakshitha Manasinghe 4-82, Praveen Jayawickrama 2-89)

Courtesy: ICC

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