Nauman Ali, the only player to hit six sixes in an over in a Priestley Cup tie, made his Test debut for Pakistan today. The 34-year-old marked the occasion by taking 2-38 in 17 overs with his left arm spin during an eventful day which saw 14 wickets fall in the first test with South Africa at Karachi.
Ali, who enjoyed considerable success during his six-year spell in the Bradford League, was a formidable all-rounder for Manningham Mills and Bradford & Bingley. He claimed his first Test wicket when he dismissed South Africa’s captain Quentin De Koch and he followed up by dismissing top scorer Dean Elgar for 58 in the same over as the Proteas were dismissed foe 220.
Pakistan, whose side also includes the former Undercliffe all-rounder Faheem Ashraf playing his seventh Test, were reduced to 33-4.
Ali, who is the fourth eldest debutant for Pakistan, impressed with his control and good lines. Speaking on a virtual press conference after the day’s play he said: “I was hopeful of getting a call-up after bowling well and taking wickets in the last two seasons of first-class cricket. If
Nauman is confident of having a long career for Pakistan as claims he is ready for the challenge of bowling in any cricket playing nation. "If they show confidence, I am ready to deliver anywhere not only in a home series," he said.
Ali was a popular figure in the Bradford League and his elevation to Test status will delight those who have followed his progress.
He made an immediate impact when Manningham Mills signed him in 2012. He took 48 wickets at 15.31 in his first season and scored 316 runs. His performances helped Mills to reach the 2012 Priestley Cup final where he was man of the match for taking 4-32 and scoring 40 as they lost by 30 runs to East Bierley.
Ali’s left-arm spin bowling and big-hitting batting saw him follow up in 2013 with 42 wickets and 411 runs for the Scotchman Road club.
Bradford & Bingley signed Ali for the 2014 campaign, and he responded by winning the league bowling averages in his first season. His 45 wickets came at 10.51 apiece and he followed that up by recording his best-ever wicket haul of 52 in 2015 when he was second in the averages behind Woodlands’ Chris Brice.
The 2015 season saw him feature in Bradford & Bingley’s Priestley Cup final triumph over Lightcliffe at Wagon Lane.
Ali’s six sixes in an over came in the first round of the 2016 competition when he took a liking to the bowling of Liversedge’s spinner Matthew Barnes.
He was to play one more season and said farewell to the Bradford League having taken 267 wickets as well as scoring 2070 runs.
New Farnley were preparing to recruit him for 2020 until Covid-19 brought a sudden end to their ambitious plans.
In contrast to Ali, Ashraf had only a one-season spell in the league with Undercliffe in 2015. He took 39 wickets and scored 382 runs.
A third former Bradford League man, Mansoor Rana, is the Pakistan Team Manager. Rana was a batsman with Queensbury, Undercliffe and Baildon. He is the son of the former Test umpire Shakoor Rana.
Left: Nauman Ali with the man of the match trophy after the 2012 Priestley Cup final.
Below: Nauman Ali batting in the 2015 Priestley Cup final for Bradford & Bingley.
Pictures: Mike Baker
|NAUMAN ALI'S BRADFORD LEAGUE RECORD|
|2014||Bradford & Bingley||1||16||4||3||0||74*||309||25.75|
|2015||Bradford & Bingley||1||15||1||1||0||73||334||23.86|
|2016||Bradford & Bingley||P||20||2||2||0||64||278||15.44|
|2017||Bradford & Bingley||P||20||4||3||0||94*||422||26.38|
|2014||Bradford & Bingley||1||171.3||57||1||5-32||473||45||10.51|
|2015||Bradford & Bingley||1||215.2||57||3||8-38||643||52||12.37|
|2016||Bradford & Bingley||P||232.1||44||1||5-46||782||45||17.38|
|2017||Bradford & Bingley||P||219||37||1||5-42||673||40||16.83|
|FFAHEEM ASHRAF'S BRADFORD LEAGUE RECORD|