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Mohammad Amir takes five for Championship leaders Essex

london: Pakistan’s Mohammad Amir took five for 18 as English County Championship leaders Essex had the better of the opening day in a First Division encounter away to Yorkshire at Scarborough on Sunday.

The left-arm fast bowler’s first ‘five-for’ for Essex in just his second Championship match was instrumental in Yorkshire being skittled out for a meagre 113.

Essex ended the first day on 188 for five, a lead of 75 runs, with captain Ryan ten Doeschate 61 not out.

The 25-year-old Amir, along with then Pakistan captain Salman Butt and pace partner Mohammad Asif, was banned in 2010 for deliberately bowling no-balls as part of a ‘spot-fixing scam’ during that year’s Lord’s Test against England, with all three players later jailed by an English court.

But since his return to Pakistan duty in January last year, Amir has again become a regular in all three international formats.

He returned impressive figures of three for 16 in six overs as Pakistan upset the form book to thrash arch-rivals India by 180 runs in the final of the Champions Trophy one-day international tournament at The Oval in June.

Prior to Pakistan’s tour, of England last year, former England captain Alastair Cook said all match-fixers should be banned for life to protect cricket’s integrity.

Cook, still an England opener, has spent his whole county career with Essex.

But Amir, speaking after joining Essex following his Champions Trophy campaign, insisted in June that he had no problems with his new team-mate.

“I met him the first day when I arrived and he was very nice,” said Amir of Cook.

“No (there are no issues between us), nothing. He’s always nice and always very supportive.”
AFP