Thatscricket - Wish your star
Published: Sunday, July 1, 2001, 0:00 [IST]
Copyright AFP 2001
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London: Pakistan off spinner Saqlain Mushtaq marked his return to county cricket by taking six for 89 for champions Surrey against title rivals Lancashire at the Oval on Saturday.His only real rival as the world's best off spinner, Sri Lanka's Muthiah Muralitharan, had already taken five for 81 as Lancashire dismissed Surrey for 248 but Saqlain's efforts meant Lancashire only had a first innings lead of 28 on the second day.Just as he had done in Pakistan's second Test victory at Lancashire's Old Trafford Ground, Saqlain was in the thick of engineering a collapse, the visitors declining from 110 without loss to 172 for six.But unlike England, Lancashire's tail wagged, the final four wickets adding another 104. Former England wicket-keeper Warren Hegg was 74 not out.Australian-born Jamie Haynes paid heavily for going back against Saqlain and was the Pakistan star first Championship wicket of the season, lbw for 57 from 111 balls including seven fours.Lancashire was now 110 for one and Haynes' fellow opener and captain John Crawley, was next out, lbw for 43 playing no stroke against the sharp Martin Bicknell.Wickets fell regularly with Saqlain getting Glenn Chapple caught at silly mid-off after the previous ball had been driven for six.Surrey's Mark Ramprakash, who made 59 on Friday, had a day to remember as it was confirmed he had been recalled to the England Test side, albeit as cover for injured county colleague Graham Thorpe (calf).The 31-year-old former captain of Surrey's arch rivals Middlesex moved across the River Thames during the close season with the specific aim of reviving his Test career.But not even he could have anticipated being back on the international scene quite so soon.