Pakistan A v South Africans, tour match, Sharjah October 8, 2013

Top order keeps South Africans solid

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South Africans 332 for 5 (Kallis 70, de Vlliers 58, Petersen 58) v Pakistan A
Scorecard

Four of South Africa's top five strolled to half-centuries against Pakistan A in Sharjah on a surface reminiscent of the ones they played the two Test series on in 2010 for its lifelessness. JP Duminy threatened to extend that feat as he finished the first day on an unbeaten 49. The odd man out was captain Graeme Smith, who needed the match time the most, but was dismissed for 2.

After Pakistan A put the South Africans in to bat, in conditions Umar Amin said he thought would be helpful because of early moisture, they were almost rewarded in the fifth over. Smith was dropped at first slip after prodding awkwardly at an Ehsan Adil delivery. It only took two overs more before the seamer was rewarded. He had Smith out lbw with South Africa on just 8.

That was the only joy the Pakistan A attack had until much later in the day. Alviro Petersen and Hashim Amla displayed Test-match temperament against a disciplined Pakistan pace attack. They collected runs leisurely - Petersen strong on the drive while Amla enjoyed the cut shot past point - and by lunch they had settled in nicely.

The first hour of the middle session was profitable for both. They scored quickly against Pakistan's spinners, who posed little threat early on, with both bringing up half-centuries before retiring.

Jacques Kallis took over from where they left off and played with unusual aggressiveness upfront. His pinpoint straight drives did not seem to be the shots of a man who has not played any cricket since the IPL. AB de Villiers was more circumspect but soon found his stride as well, as the Pakistan attack grew more weary.

The South African batsmen added 134 runs in the second session and did not lose a single wicket. Kallis and de Villiers returned after tea and seemed ready to bat out the day, but careless shots got the better of them. Kallis offered a simple return catch to Sohaib Maqsoob, which looked the stroke of a heat exhausted man, while de Villiers mistimed a pull to mid-wicket, where Umar Amin was ready to take the catch.

That gave Usman Qadir, the son of Abdul who has acted as a mentor to South Africa's legspinner, Imran Tahir, his first wicket in the match. The younger Qadir found significant turn as the afternoon wore on, although he, like the other spinners, was expensive.

The South Africans will take confidence from the way their line-up dealt with the turn, with the lower middle-order also handling it with relative ease. JP Duminy continued to show how well he has recovered from time out of the game, and swept at will, while Faf du Plessis took his time to get in and played slowly, but with attention to detail.

The teams have agreed an enforced declarations after 100 overs which will give Duminy and du Plessis, and perhaps Robin Peterson, just 10 overs more batting time. Then it will be the turn of the bowlers to see what impact they can make on a surface that is not offering much in the heat, which the South Africans are still adjusting to.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY mzm149 on | October 9, 2013, 8:10 GMT

    Good solid start by Pakistan A. They should try to score a bit faster to keep the scoreboard ticking. Actually it makes sense to play slowly as both these openers are trying to cement their place in Pakistan team.

  • POSTED BY Romanticstud on | October 9, 2013, 6:09 GMT

    Pakistan need to get a solid batting lineup- but they can only get that with faith in their batsmen ... Kallis had an improving average of 22 after 7 tests ... He was kept because of his allround ability although he wasn't really performing with either at that stage ... Now look where Kallis is ... Pakistan also need to have more time on the UAE pitches otherwise they will be away games for them ...

  • POSTED BY android_user on | October 8, 2013, 22:58 GMT

    Guys who r criticising on umer amin decesion to field it was not his decsn it was team managemnt's so please take it easy.. We have selection problms we have nepotism n fvrtism Umr akml nasir jam must be there

  • POSTED BY Muhd.Adil on | October 8, 2013, 21:45 GMT

    What a silly decision by the captain Umer Amin & the Team Management to field first! We had been talking a lot about our batting weaknesses against South Africans, and when a golden opportunity came for a useful batting practice against them, look what they have done! Now, SA will gain valuable batting practice in alien environments twice in this 3-day game, whereas we may get only one (in view of 100 overs per innings). What Moin Khan & Company are doing? At least put some sense in the new guys if they are not experienced. Now all Pak bowlers & fielders must be cursing the captain's decision (as they toiled the whole day in sweltering heat) and batsmen must be grieving for lost opportunity. If this is the beginning, what we can expect when the actual tour starts?

  • POSTED BY kc69 on | October 8, 2013, 21:23 GMT

    On one hand Pakistan is holding up all the cards for the big occasion and SA is bringing all guns for practice...Only time will tell who will be successful but Watch out Pakistan Kallis is going to be the key in this test series.

  • POSTED BY papay65 on | October 8, 2013, 19:44 GMT

    @Prasanna_310 couldn't of said it better myself, complete and utter joke Umar Akmal not being in the team and not even being in the A team what is that all about.

    Nepotism is alive and well in Pakistan team selection, how any selectors can ignore Haris Sohail, Taufeeq, Fawad Alam and Jamshed is just a joke.

  • POSTED BY t20cric on | October 8, 2013, 18:42 GMT

    With the way this practice match is going it was really expected. Definitely the best test team wouldn't struggle against very in experienced players that form the A team. It's good for Pakistan A team as well that they are getting a chance to play against the best team. The problem is that Umar Amin already made a mistake as a captain. He should have definitely decided to bat first if he won the toss. He knows that Pakistan always have trouble chasing and the main point of this match was for Pakistan to add batsmen in the squad not bowlers. They already have enough bowlers. Now the Pakistan A team will likely only get one chance to bat not 2. Also Pak A should have had Akbar instead of Faisal and Ahmed Jamal instead of Cheema. And more importantly Pak A could have selected Umar Akmal, Haris Sohail and Fawad Alam and all of these 3 would have performed and strengthened Pak batting line up. From the current team I think and hope 3 of Ahmed Shehzad, Sohaib Maqsood, Asad Shafiq and Rizwan

  • POSTED BY SurlyCynic on | October 8, 2013, 18:05 GMT

    Good batting practice for SA, Kallis was surprisingly aggressive against the spinners. Thought he'd be a bit tentative in his first game for a while but he looks quite 'up for it'. I know teams often like more than one practice match but I'm glad there's only one as I can't wait for the tests to begin... it's been too long!

  • POSTED BY android_user on | October 8, 2013, 17:37 GMT

    Guys i think u still didnt get it! Behind all this is our So called Team Manager Moin Khan who only got to Lead Pakistan team at the end of his Era! And everyone knows why he kept his place in team. because he was wasim bhai favourite and also because he could bat at the end other then that he was worse keeper then Kamran Akmal!!

    And rite now all he is doing keeping people happy who are in power so newphews cousins and sons of management and Ex players so that he can keep his job!

    i just dont get it why they are keeping jamshed ,shahzad and Umar akmal out of team! they are the one who won matches for us against india west indies single handed and against zimbabwe the way Ahmad Shehzad batted thry should have given him a chance!

  • POSTED BY on | October 8, 2013, 16:38 GMT

    Unless Misbah and Younis perform with the bat Pakistan will struggle to be competitive even on these docile pitches. Robbie P at 8 and Vern at 9 demonstrates the strength in batting. Pakistan will do well to share the series in my opinion.

  • POSTED BY mzm149 on | October 9, 2013, 8:10 GMT

    Good solid start by Pakistan A. They should try to score a bit faster to keep the scoreboard ticking. Actually it makes sense to play slowly as both these openers are trying to cement their place in Pakistan team.

  • POSTED BY Romanticstud on | October 9, 2013, 6:09 GMT

    Pakistan need to get a solid batting lineup- but they can only get that with faith in their batsmen ... Kallis had an improving average of 22 after 7 tests ... He was kept because of his allround ability although he wasn't really performing with either at that stage ... Now look where Kallis is ... Pakistan also need to have more time on the UAE pitches otherwise they will be away games for them ...

  • POSTED BY android_user on | October 8, 2013, 22:58 GMT

    Guys who r criticising on umer amin decesion to field it was not his decsn it was team managemnt's so please take it easy.. We have selection problms we have nepotism n fvrtism Umr akml nasir jam must be there

  • POSTED BY Muhd.Adil on | October 8, 2013, 21:45 GMT

    What a silly decision by the captain Umer Amin & the Team Management to field first! We had been talking a lot about our batting weaknesses against South Africans, and when a golden opportunity came for a useful batting practice against them, look what they have done! Now, SA will gain valuable batting practice in alien environments twice in this 3-day game, whereas we may get only one (in view of 100 overs per innings). What Moin Khan & Company are doing? At least put some sense in the new guys if they are not experienced. Now all Pak bowlers & fielders must be cursing the captain's decision (as they toiled the whole day in sweltering heat) and batsmen must be grieving for lost opportunity. If this is the beginning, what we can expect when the actual tour starts?

  • POSTED BY kc69 on | October 8, 2013, 21:23 GMT

    On one hand Pakistan is holding up all the cards for the big occasion and SA is bringing all guns for practice...Only time will tell who will be successful but Watch out Pakistan Kallis is going to be the key in this test series.

  • POSTED BY papay65 on | October 8, 2013, 19:44 GMT

    @Prasanna_310 couldn't of said it better myself, complete and utter joke Umar Akmal not being in the team and not even being in the A team what is that all about.

    Nepotism is alive and well in Pakistan team selection, how any selectors can ignore Haris Sohail, Taufeeq, Fawad Alam and Jamshed is just a joke.

  • POSTED BY t20cric on | October 8, 2013, 18:42 GMT

    With the way this practice match is going it was really expected. Definitely the best test team wouldn't struggle against very in experienced players that form the A team. It's good for Pakistan A team as well that they are getting a chance to play against the best team. The problem is that Umar Amin already made a mistake as a captain. He should have definitely decided to bat first if he won the toss. He knows that Pakistan always have trouble chasing and the main point of this match was for Pakistan to add batsmen in the squad not bowlers. They already have enough bowlers. Now the Pakistan A team will likely only get one chance to bat not 2. Also Pak A should have had Akbar instead of Faisal and Ahmed Jamal instead of Cheema. And more importantly Pak A could have selected Umar Akmal, Haris Sohail and Fawad Alam and all of these 3 would have performed and strengthened Pak batting line up. From the current team I think and hope 3 of Ahmed Shehzad, Sohaib Maqsood, Asad Shafiq and Rizwan

  • POSTED BY SurlyCynic on | October 8, 2013, 18:05 GMT

    Good batting practice for SA, Kallis was surprisingly aggressive against the spinners. Thought he'd be a bit tentative in his first game for a while but he looks quite 'up for it'. I know teams often like more than one practice match but I'm glad there's only one as I can't wait for the tests to begin... it's been too long!

  • POSTED BY android_user on | October 8, 2013, 17:37 GMT

    Guys i think u still didnt get it! Behind all this is our So called Team Manager Moin Khan who only got to Lead Pakistan team at the end of his Era! And everyone knows why he kept his place in team. because he was wasim bhai favourite and also because he could bat at the end other then that he was worse keeper then Kamran Akmal!!

    And rite now all he is doing keeping people happy who are in power so newphews cousins and sons of management and Ex players so that he can keep his job!

    i just dont get it why they are keeping jamshed ,shahzad and Umar akmal out of team! they are the one who won matches for us against india west indies single handed and against zimbabwe the way Ahmad Shehzad batted thry should have given him a chance!

  • POSTED BY on | October 8, 2013, 16:38 GMT

    Unless Misbah and Younis perform with the bat Pakistan will struggle to be competitive even on these docile pitches. Robbie P at 8 and Vern at 9 demonstrates the strength in batting. Pakistan will do well to share the series in my opinion.

  • POSTED BY siqbal00 on | October 8, 2013, 16:18 GMT

    I never seen such idiotic team, who after winning toss let the opponent batsmen have good batting practice and give them opportunity for necessary match practice. Pakistan needed desperately to test out their opening batsmen. Why would not they choose to bat and see if their batsmen has the guts to stand SA bowling. 3 day game could have provided two opportunities for openers. Unbelievable

  • POSTED BY Prasanna_310 on | October 8, 2013, 16:09 GMT

    Successful captains place fields in their minds, they first imagine possible places where they feel it is likely the chances come, and they later fill fields to save runs. Similarly, successful team also must decide what players they need to WIN matches, and then fill remaining 11 balancing the side. I have no idea how on earth the so called 'expert' forget Umar Akmal in making the list. He, along with, Shehzad and Jamshed are in top 5 if you ask me. Not outside the list of top 22! I mean no place in A side. Only explanation I can come up is so childish yet I fear it may be true, they fear Akmal comes and wins game single handedly, making fool of other experience batsmen!

  • POSTED BY Prasanna_310 on | October 8, 2013, 16:01 GMT

    Umer Amin may have a good cricket brain but he had an opportunity to announce himself as a positive and fierce captain had he elected to bat no matter early moisture (most early moisture explanations are overrated anyway, and more so in the desert of Dubai). It is not enough to be successful captain just with smart cricket brain, you need to be able to trust your ideas as well. No international captains like Dhoni, Clarke, Smith or Sangakarra would have bowled first there.

  • POSTED BY Stark62 on | October 8, 2013, 15:13 GMT

    I agree with everyone, regarding the non-selection of U. Akmal, Harris, Alam and Taufeeq or Jamshed but then again, why do you think Shan Masood with a FC average of 34.82 has been selected? Because he is the nephew of Pakistan secretary finance Waqar Masood!!

    We know who Faisal is related too and Farhat but now, we have Masood and Qadir being selected after doing squat.

    Also, Malik 2.0 (Amin) doesn't seem to be doing well either. If you want to groom a captain for Test cricket then it should be Azhar, whilst Jamshed and U. Akmal would be great at leading in all formats, in addition Shezhad for ODI's and T20's exclusively.

  • POSTED BY NixNixon on | October 8, 2013, 14:52 GMT

    Dont want to sound arrogant, whilst this is only a warm up game, SA test team is a machine, good luck pakistan

  • POSTED BY on | October 8, 2013, 14:34 GMT

    seriously no umar akmal !!! I don't know wt this guy need to do to get palce in A team and pcb so called future captain umar amin is getting chance in all formats by doing jxt nthng

  • POSTED BY on | October 8, 2013, 14:01 GMT

    Very Good Selection as now PCB can determine from these youngsters who's GOOD player material from these lot thus very good decision and Fawad Alam is a potential good player for pakistan just like umar amin and umar akmal can be useful in odi's god willing so the only exception is taufeeq umar isn't included and fawad alam too. Would like pcb exploring more young Fast Bowlers in future as so far this bunch of bowlers from Pakistan A hasn't produced something of Quality against a Quality Side. Main Concern is really where's all the talent with the likes of waqar ,wasim ,shoaib etc and Abdul Razzaq Is a Good Alrounder Bowler but he hasnt been getting into the side due to Hafeez Politics kicked him out of team so sad to see when politics come in the way of some players career. Overall Good Selection! I think there's really a need where some selectors go on the streets of pakistan to find the likes of Wasim ,waqar etc otherwise fast bowling for pakistan looks like a joke

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | October 8, 2013, 13:56 GMT

    Umar Amin (So called future captain) made bad decision on his 1st assignment as captain, He should have been batted 1st, that way they could have easily batted twice in this Match. 2ndly why Faisal Iqbal is there, they should have included Haris Sohail and Umar Akmal in The Team, Also they should have Tested Talha , Umar Amin has got backing of brainless Geo Experts Shoaib and Sikandar Bakhat. Azhar Ali should be Vice Captain of Test Team.

  • POSTED BY Truthseeker570 on | October 8, 2013, 13:51 GMT

    Pakistan cricket has been in decline for almost 10 years now. it seems like the selectors and the PCB are making sure of that, why are players like M. Yousuf Abdul Razzaq, Yasir Hammed, Fawad Alam Nasir Jamshed, Umar AKmal being ignored: I blame the current captain, coach chairman for not allowing these players to be selected. Pakistan are going to lose the series with current players they have in the squad.

  • POSTED BY on | October 8, 2013, 12:32 GMT

    PAK A should have batted 1st. as it is the 3 batsmen pak will select from these lot not bowlers.

    Toufeeq should have been 2nd opener.

  • POSTED BY malepas on | October 8, 2013, 11:52 GMT

    @golgo_85 and lots of others, absolutely right, why the hell they are not including Umer Akmal in all formats is just beyond me, he is simply the most talented and proven batsman PAK has, full stop. PCB and management has tinkered with his positions so many times when he emerged that messes his mantel side of batting, he was sent to play at No 3 in Newzeland at green track against Bond and others cos the seniors including Shoib Malik,Yousaf were afraid to bat there, he has won lots of ODI matches for Pakistan and just need some solid plans and confidence from management and we will have a Kohli like batsman for our test team, all these so called youngsters are nowhere near him as for as skills and range is concern. And yes playing Faisal Iqbal and Cheema just shows how brain dead these selectors are.I think grooming U.Amin as captain is wrong as well, U.Akmal is the only batsman who can play all 3 formats so it should be him to be groomed as next Captain.

  • POSTED BY on | October 8, 2013, 11:22 GMT

    Umar Akmal deserves his place in the team in all formates.Also Nasir jamshed, Ahmed Shehzad and shoaib Malik Should have been included.Md. Hafeez also would have been handy in this condition.

  • POSTED BY wanatawu on | October 8, 2013, 10:53 GMT

    What a flat pitch, I hope its not gonna be the same in the tests I don't wanna see 600/1 or 700/3 inning totals.

  • POSTED BY Stark62 on | October 8, 2013, 10:31 GMT

    That A side's batting looks woeful with the exception of Maqsood, Rizwan and maybe, Shehzad.

    Also, the bowling line up isn't great either with the exception of Ehsan and Yasir.

    Should be a cakewalk for the Saffa's and it won't be much of a test for them.

  • POSTED BY golgo_85 on | October 8, 2013, 10:24 GMT

    Even the Pak A team is selected with limited brain activity - why have they drafted Umar Amin and Faisal Iqbal in when Umar Akmal and Haris Sohail deserved a chance? Hell, Akmal should be in the main XI without a question anyway. And Aizaz Cheema again when they could groom another seam bowling allrounder?? There is absolutely no one in either of these teams who would score freely but with U Akmal, Haris Sohail and Fawad Alam, you would've had that. Younis has been scoring slower than usual cause he doesn't want to take chances with one slowpoke each above and below him. The existent young talents aren't being given fair chances whilst we are being victimised of hilarious team selection. Should've easily been a squad of 14 with Umar Akmal and Jamshed/Sohail/Fawad. Don't understand the obsession with trying to force Umar Amin in in any squad

  • POSTED BY Needii on | October 8, 2013, 10:03 GMT

    it was a bad decision to bowl first by Pak A,

  • POSTED BY Umair_umair on | October 8, 2013, 8:50 GMT

    Would be more interesting to see Pakistan-A s batting. Wish some of the young bats can show some fight.

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  • POSTED BY Umair_umair on | October 8, 2013, 8:50 GMT

    Would be more interesting to see Pakistan-A s batting. Wish some of the young bats can show some fight.

  • POSTED BY Needii on | October 8, 2013, 10:03 GMT

    it was a bad decision to bowl first by Pak A,

  • POSTED BY golgo_85 on | October 8, 2013, 10:24 GMT

    Even the Pak A team is selected with limited brain activity - why have they drafted Umar Amin and Faisal Iqbal in when Umar Akmal and Haris Sohail deserved a chance? Hell, Akmal should be in the main XI without a question anyway. And Aizaz Cheema again when they could groom another seam bowling allrounder?? There is absolutely no one in either of these teams who would score freely but with U Akmal, Haris Sohail and Fawad Alam, you would've had that. Younis has been scoring slower than usual cause he doesn't want to take chances with one slowpoke each above and below him. The existent young talents aren't being given fair chances whilst we are being victimised of hilarious team selection. Should've easily been a squad of 14 with Umar Akmal and Jamshed/Sohail/Fawad. Don't understand the obsession with trying to force Umar Amin in in any squad

  • POSTED BY Stark62 on | October 8, 2013, 10:31 GMT

    That A side's batting looks woeful with the exception of Maqsood, Rizwan and maybe, Shehzad.

    Also, the bowling line up isn't great either with the exception of Ehsan and Yasir.

    Should be a cakewalk for the Saffa's and it won't be much of a test for them.

  • POSTED BY wanatawu on | October 8, 2013, 10:53 GMT

    What a flat pitch, I hope its not gonna be the same in the tests I don't wanna see 600/1 or 700/3 inning totals.

  • POSTED BY on | October 8, 2013, 11:22 GMT

    Umar Akmal deserves his place in the team in all formates.Also Nasir jamshed, Ahmed Shehzad and shoaib Malik Should have been included.Md. Hafeez also would have been handy in this condition.

  • POSTED BY malepas on | October 8, 2013, 11:52 GMT

    @golgo_85 and lots of others, absolutely right, why the hell they are not including Umer Akmal in all formats is just beyond me, he is simply the most talented and proven batsman PAK has, full stop. PCB and management has tinkered with his positions so many times when he emerged that messes his mantel side of batting, he was sent to play at No 3 in Newzeland at green track against Bond and others cos the seniors including Shoib Malik,Yousaf were afraid to bat there, he has won lots of ODI matches for Pakistan and just need some solid plans and confidence from management and we will have a Kohli like batsman for our test team, all these so called youngsters are nowhere near him as for as skills and range is concern. And yes playing Faisal Iqbal and Cheema just shows how brain dead these selectors are.I think grooming U.Amin as captain is wrong as well, U.Akmal is the only batsman who can play all 3 formats so it should be him to be groomed as next Captain.

  • POSTED BY on | October 8, 2013, 12:32 GMT

    PAK A should have batted 1st. as it is the 3 batsmen pak will select from these lot not bowlers.

    Toufeeq should have been 2nd opener.

  • POSTED BY Truthseeker570 on | October 8, 2013, 13:51 GMT

    Pakistan cricket has been in decline for almost 10 years now. it seems like the selectors and the PCB are making sure of that, why are players like M. Yousuf Abdul Razzaq, Yasir Hammed, Fawad Alam Nasir Jamshed, Umar AKmal being ignored: I blame the current captain, coach chairman for not allowing these players to be selected. Pakistan are going to lose the series with current players they have in the squad.

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | October 8, 2013, 13:56 GMT

    Umar Amin (So called future captain) made bad decision on his 1st assignment as captain, He should have been batted 1st, that way they could have easily batted twice in this Match. 2ndly why Faisal Iqbal is there, they should have included Haris Sohail and Umar Akmal in The Team, Also they should have Tested Talha , Umar Amin has got backing of brainless Geo Experts Shoaib and Sikandar Bakhat. Azhar Ali should be Vice Captain of Test Team.