|Player:||Younis Khan, Mohammad Yousuf, Inzamam-ul-Haq, Salman Butt, Imran Farhat|
|Event:||Pakistan in British Isles 2006|
DateLine: 21st July 2006
Problems with Pakistan's top batsmen was refuted by coach Bob Woolmer who said he had faith that his players would come good.
Vice-captain Younis Khan, who missed the Lord's Test with England due to a knee injury, returned to steady a fast sinking ship against Northamptonshire during Thursday's first day.
Khan hit an unbeaten 50 at Wantage road to dig Pakistan out of a hole after openers Salman Butt and Imran Farhat managed a miserable four apiece.
Inzamam-ul-Haq and Mohammad Yousuf steered Pakistan away from defeat against England in the first Test a week ago after failures from the openers in both innings.
But there was no improvement against Northants as Butt and Farhat were both dismissed in quick succession, with opening bowlers Ben Phillips and Charl Pietersen showing the under-fire pair no mercy.
"There is not a problem with the top order batsmen," insisted Woolmer. "Lots of people are talking about it after their failure against England but I have faith in my players and I know they will come good.
"I am really pleased to see Younis get a 50 and be in such good form after he missed the first Test.
"These types of games are great because we can bring in players, like Younis, who have not had much time in the middle.
"It's good to get some match practice and much better than batting and bowling in the nets. It helps to get the guys scoring some runs and improves their form and confidence."
Pakistan were bidding to respond to Northants' emphatic total of 269 for three declared following an inspired first century of the season from Stephen Peters (142). Pakistan had made 97-3 by the close.
(Article: Copyright © 2006 AFP)