Sports

TAUNTON – Pakistan Test team 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 tour of 2010, which was tainted by a number of spot-fixing allegations against three star Pakistani players, all of which were later proven.

During the now-infamous Lords Test in 2010, Mohammad Amir and Pakistan new-ball partner Mohammad Asif bowled deliberate no-balls on the instructions of captain Salman Butt, who was in cahoots with a number of spot-fixing bookies. The trio was caught as a result of a sting operation carried out by a tabloid newspaper.

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

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

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

The Taunton 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 (captain), 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 (captain), Asad Shafiq, Sarfraz Ahmed (wkt), Mohammad Amir, Sohail Khan, Yasir Shah, Rahat Ali.

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