Taufeeq and Inzamam help Pakistan to a draw
Pakistan 348 and 242 for 6 (Taufeeq Umar 71, Inzamam-ul-Haq 60) drew with South Africa 278 and 371
Taufeeq Umar: led Pakistan's resistance with a patient half-century
The South Africans threw in everything they could, but they fell just short of achieving a series-levelling win, as Pakistan drew the second Test at Faisalabad and wrapped up the series 1-0. When Inzamam-ul-Haq and Abdul Razzaq were dismissed off successive balls with 14 overs still left, South Africa sniffed an improbable series-levelling win. But Shoaib Malik and Moin Khan hung on grimly under fading light, surviving with resolute defence and a generous slice of luck. In the end neither team could claim a distinct advantage: Pakistan were 60 runs short of their target, while South Africa were four wickets away from victory.
Taufeeq Umar (71) and Inzamam (60) led the way for Pakistan, while the South Africans were let down by their spinners and - more surprisingly - their catching, usually the most reliable aspect of their game. Mark Boucher dropped Taufeeq and Herschelle Gibbs spilled Inzamam, but the drop which perhaps cost them the match was Gary Kirsten's missed chance off Malik towards the end of the day.
Pakistan saw off most of the first two sessions with scarcely any alarms, but the second new ball - taken after tea - paid immediate dividends for South Africa. Inzamam, who had motored along to a half-century after a tentative start, inexplicably shouldered arms to a Makhaya Ntini indipper which was heading towards middle and leg. Simon Taufel had little hesitation in ruling in favour of the bowler (209 for 5). That was the last ball of Ntini's over. Off the first ball of Shaun Pollock's next over, Razzaq (10) showed that he had learnt nothing from Inzamam's shocking lack of judgment, shouldering arms to a Pollock delivery which nipped in slightly and took the off stump.
From a position where they were fighting to save the Test, South Africa were suddenly pressing for a win. Then came the crucial dropped catch: a short ball from Ntini took the shoulder of Malik's bat and, incredibly, went all the way to Kirsten at fine leg, who ran around to get to the ball, and then spilled a regulation chance. With that miss went South Africa's hopes of victory.
Jacques Kallis celebrates the dismissal of Imran Farhat
In the first two sessions, there was little to suggest the drama that happened towards the end. Pakistan's batsmen were intent on survival before lunch, an attitude which resulted in just 55 runs from 30 overs. Imran Farhat and Yasir Hameed fell during that period. Farhat made a painstaking 8 before he was adjudged lbw off Ntini, when replays suggested that the ball would have missed off (18 for 1).
Hameed (17) started off in positive fashion, flicking Kallis for two fours, but the South Africans soon switched to short-pitched bowling, and Hameed fell for the bait, pulling Ntini straight to Boeta Dippenaar at square leg (46 for 2).
Then came the best passage of play for Pakistan, as Inzamam and Taufeeq stitched together a 79-run partnership. Inzamam started tentatively, but grew in confidence, unleashing some powerful cover-drives off either foot. With Taufeeq playing some trademark drives down the ground, Pakistan scored 92 in the afternoon session. Though Taufeeq was dismissed in that session, caught by Graeme Smith at mid-on when he failed to time a lofted shot off Robin Peterson, Pakistan had laid the foundation to make a serious assault on the target. The South Africans had other ideas, though, and in the end, it needed some gritty batting from the lower order to ensure that Pakistan saved the Test.
S Rajesh is assistant editor of Wisden Cricinfo.