An impressive career best innings from Josh Cobb pushed the Steelbacks to 273 but it wasn’t enough as Pakistan showed their class to win by 8 wickets.

A different looking Steelbacks line-up was named by captain Josh Cobb, who won the toss and chose to bat at The County Ground. The visitors struck with the very first ball of the innings as Richard Levi dragged a full, wide ball back onto off stump. Curran and Cobb steadied things, pushing things along to near 50 before Curran too dragged one on and went for 23. Ricardo Vasconcelos’ stay at the crease was a short one, a sharp bouncer from Hasnain striking him on the side of the helmet and forcing him to retire hurt an over later. Vasconcelos went through a concussion assessment with First Team Physio Barry Goudriaan and while the keeper-batsman was cleared, he took no further part in the match.

Thurston and Cobb’s partnership reached 48 before Thurston pushed one back to the bowler and went for 25. Saif Zaib also departed caught and bowled for 1. Holland and Sole both made starts, Sole sending one sailing into the supporters club before he was trapped in front for 22. Hutton and Cobb then put on the most enterprising partnership of the innings. In his first game of the season, Hutton found the boundary four times to finish with 27 not out from 32 balls. Josh Cobb was the man of the hour though, batting for all but one ball of the innings and posting his seventh List A century. Cobb finished 146 not out from 145 deliveries, finding the rope 12 times and striking 6 maximums. Northamptonshire finished with 273/6, a respectable total particularly given the start they had.

Pakistan ultimately made light work of the chase and looked in complete control throughout. The visitors flew out of the gates to post 50 after just 6 overs. Fakhar Zaman reach his century in a stand that passed 150, but fell shortly after as a clever slower ball from Buck crashed into the stumps. Pakistan would lose their second wicket after the score passed 200, Holland taking his first for the club as he bowled Imam-Ul-Haq for 71. Pakistan eventually passed the total after 41 overs, winning by 8 wickets.

Northamptonshire 273/6 (Cobb 146*, Hutton 27*) defeated by Pakistan 275/2 (Zaman 101, Imam-Ul-Haq 71). Full scorecard.

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