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Monday Feb 10 2020
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In a historic first, three Muslim players included in England cricket team

Moeen Ali, Adil Rashid and Saqib Mahmood were part of the playing XI which beat South Africa by three wickets. Photo: File

BIRMINGHAM: Sunday was a historic day for world cricket for many different reasons. In Rawalpindi, Pakistan’s teenage pace bowling sensation Naseem Shah became the youngest ever to take a hat-trick in any international game let alone a Test match, against Bangladesh on the third day of the match.

Naseem is the fourth Pakistani to achieve this feat in a Test match. Former captain Wasim Akram has achieved the feat twice and Abdul Razzal and Mohammad Sami are the other two.

While Bangladesh looks in all sorts of troubles in Rawalpindi, in Potchefstroom, South Africa, the U-19 Bangladeshi team created history by picking up the title for the first time beating India in the final by three wickets.

Simultaneously, history was made in Johannesburg where the England cricket team was playing in the third and final one-day international against South Africa.

For the first time ever in the history of English cricket, three Muslim were part of the playing eleven. Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid were part of the playing eleven with Lancashire pacer Saqib Mahmood making his ODI debut for England. Interestingly all three are of Pakistani-Kashmiri origin, with Moeen hailing from Birmingham, Adil from Bradford and Saqib, who was born in Birmingham and raised in Rochdale to parents who emigrated from Pakistan.

England won the match by two wickets to level the series 1-1 with all three players playing a part in the victory. Batting first the Proteas scored 256-7 in their 50 overs. Saqib opened the bowling for England and picked up a wicket conceding 17 runs in five overs. South Africa’s Reeza Hendricks was Saqib’s first scalp in ODIs.

On the other hand, England’s spinning bowling duo Moeen and Adil playing together for the first time since the World Cup July last year, bowled their quota of 10 overs each. Moeen picked up one wicket for 42 while Adil picked up three wickets for 51 runs.

For South Africa Quinton de Kock and David Miller scoring 69 runs each to post 256-7.

In reply, England achieved the target of 257 for the loss of eight wickets in 44th over. Jonny Bairstow scored a quickfire 43, while Joe Root and Joe Denly scored 49 and 66 respectively. Towards the end England lost four quick wickets for 20 runs, however, Moeen Ali steered the ship home with a cool 17 runs, to level the ODI series 1-1.

Adil was named man of the match for his figures of 3-51 in 10 overs.

England and South Africa will now play a three T20I starting Wednesday. Moeen, Adil and Saqib are also part of England’s T20I squad.