International stars head to Lower Wardown Park

The International Stars XI
The International Stars XI

A host of international cricket stars took to the field at Lower Wardown Park recently for a special charity T20 match.

Former England players Simon Jones and Paul Nixon, along with nine Pakistan players past and present, including Kamran Akmal and Aamir Sohail, were part of the International Cricketers XI who faced Luton & District Midweek League side Luton Pakistanis.

It was Pakistanis who won the toss as skipper Ibrar Walayat chose to bowl first – with Mohammed Essa bowling Nasir Jamshed first ball.

Fellow opener Akmal made 32, with seven fours, until he was caught by Usman Farooq off Ali Eshan.

Sohail was then bowled for five, before Faisal Iqbal made a superb 88 from 38 balls, including eight sixes and four fours, until he was caught off the bowling of Essa.

Ex-England wicket-keeper Nixon added 19 from 12 balls, while Fawad Alam made an unbeaten 35 as the International side finished on 194-5 from 20 overs, Essa taking 3-44 and Eshan 2-34.

In reply, Pakistanis lost Walayat early on for nine, lbw to Saeed Ajmal, while Rana Naveed dismissed Mohammed Haroon.

Former England seamer Jones got in on the act, as he bowled Zahid Ali Khan, while Sachin Wagh followed, with Alam the bowler.

Asif Hussain then made 25 in 20 balls, but it was number seven Usman Farooq who took the fight to his side’s illustrious opponents, hammering an unbeaten 53.

It wasn’t enough to take his side to victory though, as LP’s finished on 152-8, Alam taking 3-14, Naveed 2-19, Ajmal 2-44 and Jones 1-23, with the International XI triumphing by 42 runs.

Organiser Mohammed Walayat presented the winning team trophy, while Councillor Mohammed Riaz Butt awarded the man of the match cup to Faisal Iqbal.