Pakistan A v South Africans, Sharjah, 2nd day October 9, 2013

Shehzad impresses with fluent fifty

63

Pakistan A 230 for 4 (Shehzad 66, Morkel 1-13) trail South Africans 354 for 8 declared (Kallis 70, Maqsood 1/17) by 124 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

South Africa's bowlers will hope the surface they toiled on in Sharjah will not resemble the pitches on which they will play the two-Test series. Although a few deliveries kept low, the conditions assisted neither spinners nor the seamers and it was nothing but a grind for the tourists.

The South Africans took the field with ice jackets and cooling necklaces. Dale Steyn wore the former while the other was passed between players at intervals throughout the afternoon, to combat the 37-degree heat and high humidity. They also rotated stints in the field with all players allowed a break for a period of time.

Pakistan A got some value out of the day, doing what captain Umar Amin wanted by batting it out to "give South Africa something to think about" and allowing openers Ahmed Shehzad and Shan Masood, as well as the national No.3 Azhar Ali, to bring up half-centuries.

Shehzad's may be the most important because it would allowed him to announce himself as the prime candidate to partner Khurram Manzoor in the first Test next week. Pakistan have yet to pick another opener after dropping Mohammad Hafeez and will likely select someone from the A side. Shehzad, who is uncapped in the longest format and is just 21 years old, showed he may be the man for the job.

He was expressive against the spinners and fluent against the South African seamers, all four of whom bowled within themselves to avoid tiring out. Shehzad was particularly strong through the off side and on the drive, and was dismissed due to a lack of temperament rather than being outfoxed.

With Robin Peterson keeping things tight, Shehzad tried to loft him over a strategically placed short mid-wicket but offered the fielder a simple chance. That was the South Africans only wicket of the middle session with the focus being on lines and accuracy.

Steyn bowled below pace, Morkel found some bounce and was the only one of the trio to take a wicket when Faisal Iqbal was caught at slip, but it was Vernon Philander who looked the most threatening. His accurate line outside the off stump proved as successful, not in wicket-taking but in problem-causing terms, as it has elsewhere in the world. The bowlers operated in short spells through the afternoon and allowed the spinners to dominate proceedings later on.

Tahir was expensive, especially in his first spell. Too many variations and a bouquet of full tosses threatened to derail the legspinner, especially with Shehzad and then Azhar using their feet well.

Masood's half-century was well-paced and he chose to retire after reaching the landmark. Azhar's fifty was more eye-catching; he was patient upfront, with just 12 runs from his first 33 balls, but grew in confidence later on.

His retirement allowed captain Umar Amin a stint at the crease. With a place in the senior side at stake, Amin showed his ability to hold fort as the day drew to a close. The captains had agreed to enforce declarations after the 100-over mark and with 22 overs left in the Pakistan A innings, South African captain Graeme Smith will have a last chance to bat before the first Test.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Greatest_Game on October 10, 2013, 8:27 GMT

    @ Desihungama wrote "Wasim and Waqar and Imran and Sarfaraz did not complain. They went about their business inventing reverse swings, toe crushing Yorkers developing variety in their armory. What cricketing innovation SA has offered to world cricket?"

    SA offers honesty, decency, sportsmanship. fair play, respect. Yes, we South Africans respect our opponents, and even their rude fans. We feel no need to attack and belittle other teams, players or fans. We appreciate the opportunity to play Pakistan, with whom we share very good relations. We enjoy Pak cricket, although it does seem a little unfair that we win so often, and that Pak victories are somewhat rare. Hopefully that will change, but probably not for a good while yet, as this Proteas team looks set to be no. 1 for some time!

    Looking forward to a great series. Good luck to both teams. Hopefully the pitches will produce a result.

  • Greatest_Game on October 10, 2013, 8:08 GMT

    @ mzm149. Thanks for your response. I think we agree that flat tracks do nothing for cricket, & I value your observations on the Aus pitches.

    You make a valid point that "Asian teams completely eliminate fast bowling out of the equation and Non Asian teams completely ignore spin bowling," although I do think that is changing, as well it should. Eng learned from their Pak whitewash, & their India tour showed that their batsmen had clearly worked on playing spin, & Monty/Swann used India's pitched to defeat them.

    You may be interested to know that one of the most respected spinners ever was a South African, Hugh Tayfield.(http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/player/47531.html)

    Wisden's obituary describes him as "one of the greatest off-spinners the game has seen," & named him Cricketer of the Year in 56 for a phenomenal 9/113. In their (controversial) 2001 "Wisden 100" list they ranked that as their Top Bowling Performance, ahead of Kumble & Laker. SA could really use him now!

  • Captain_Tuk_Tuk on October 10, 2013, 7:36 GMT

    South Africa are having hard time getting out our non-regular batsman just 3, 4 main player in Pakistan A and South Africa bowlers are already struggling against them and they are yet to play against our best spin trio Ajmal, Rehman, Zulifquar Babar 2-0 is a possibility and South Africa can lose there Test ranking as well.

  • mzm149 on October 10, 2013, 7:20 GMT

    Selectors should kick out Khurram Manzoor and bring in Ahmed Shehzad, Shan Masood, Sohaib Maqsood and Muhammad Rizwan.

  • UnderdogsGalore on October 10, 2013, 6:09 GMT

    Dale Steyn bowling averages: In Afica: 20.56 In Americas: 18.13 In Asia:23.71 In Europe:31.65 In Oceania: 27.69

    The most complete bowler around. It's even a sacrilege to question his credentials. His worst average i.e. in Europe is near about the average of his closest fast bowling contemporaries like Anderson, broad, Siddle, Morkel and Zaheer. His career bowling average is atleast 30 p.c. better than the average of all his closest competitors combined; have some respect guys.

    He is maintaining an average of 22 in a era of flat batting pitches when his nearest competitors are around 28-30; the last time a guy had such significant statistical advantage over his peers was Bradman.. enough said!

  • bijendrasinha on October 10, 2013, 5:55 GMT

    i saw 5 batsment were noted as retired out in the scorecard..since the team total too is reflecting the same as wicket fall,, can anyone please tell me in whose account those wickets will be credited..?

  • Brenton1 on October 10, 2013, 5:19 GMT

    So the bowlers cant take wickets. I dont think thats the point. For PAK A batsmen its about pushing for a place in their top team. For SA its about getting used to conditions. The intensity of a test isnt there. At the end of the day both teams are getting what they want. Dont read too much into this.

  • Marktc on October 10, 2013, 5:17 GMT

    All of those judging the SA bowlers should come back down to earth. This is a warm up game, a long practice session. SA are getting into their rythm and not trying to go full out. Oh and t20, Steyn bolwls well everywhere, check your facts. If you are basing your opinion on this game, then stick to t20 watching. SA have a better away record. Wasim, you obviously have no clue about the SA bowling attack, so I will not even comment. My only issue may be, if they are trying to check the readiness of Pakistan players, surely they should have prepared a more competitive pitch. Not for SA to win, but to test the Pakistan batsman and see whi plays well. This pitch is no test.

  • on October 10, 2013, 1:15 GMT

    @t20cric: your name says it all. The Pak A players are playing out of their skins to earn recognition and maybe a Test spot in the near future. The SA players are easing into the conditions and ironing out any kinks. Dale Steyn's best innings figures are at Nagpur. The fact that you're even questioning whether or not he can bowl under foreign conditions is ludicrous.

  • Desihungama on October 9, 2013, 22:15 GMT

    @Greatest_game. Wasim and Waqar and Imran and Sarfaraz did not complain. They went about their business inventing reverse swings, toe crushing Yorkers developing variety in their armory. What cricketing innovation SA has offered to world cricket?

  • Greatest_Game on October 10, 2013, 8:27 GMT

    @ Desihungama wrote "Wasim and Waqar and Imran and Sarfaraz did not complain. They went about their business inventing reverse swings, toe crushing Yorkers developing variety in their armory. What cricketing innovation SA has offered to world cricket?"

    SA offers honesty, decency, sportsmanship. fair play, respect. Yes, we South Africans respect our opponents, and even their rude fans. We feel no need to attack and belittle other teams, players or fans. We appreciate the opportunity to play Pakistan, with whom we share very good relations. We enjoy Pak cricket, although it does seem a little unfair that we win so often, and that Pak victories are somewhat rare. Hopefully that will change, but probably not for a good while yet, as this Proteas team looks set to be no. 1 for some time!

    Looking forward to a great series. Good luck to both teams. Hopefully the pitches will produce a result.

  • Greatest_Game on October 10, 2013, 8:08 GMT

    @ mzm149. Thanks for your response. I think we agree that flat tracks do nothing for cricket, & I value your observations on the Aus pitches.

    You make a valid point that "Asian teams completely eliminate fast bowling out of the equation and Non Asian teams completely ignore spin bowling," although I do think that is changing, as well it should. Eng learned from their Pak whitewash, & their India tour showed that their batsmen had clearly worked on playing spin, & Monty/Swann used India's pitched to defeat them.

    You may be interested to know that one of the most respected spinners ever was a South African, Hugh Tayfield.(http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/player/47531.html)

    Wisden's obituary describes him as "one of the greatest off-spinners the game has seen," & named him Cricketer of the Year in 56 for a phenomenal 9/113. In their (controversial) 2001 "Wisden 100" list they ranked that as their Top Bowling Performance, ahead of Kumble & Laker. SA could really use him now!

  • Captain_Tuk_Tuk on October 10, 2013, 7:36 GMT

    South Africa are having hard time getting out our non-regular batsman just 3, 4 main player in Pakistan A and South Africa bowlers are already struggling against them and they are yet to play against our best spin trio Ajmal, Rehman, Zulifquar Babar 2-0 is a possibility and South Africa can lose there Test ranking as well.

  • mzm149 on October 10, 2013, 7:20 GMT

    Selectors should kick out Khurram Manzoor and bring in Ahmed Shehzad, Shan Masood, Sohaib Maqsood and Muhammad Rizwan.

  • UnderdogsGalore on October 10, 2013, 6:09 GMT

    Dale Steyn bowling averages: In Afica: 20.56 In Americas: 18.13 In Asia:23.71 In Europe:31.65 In Oceania: 27.69

    The most complete bowler around. It's even a sacrilege to question his credentials. His worst average i.e. in Europe is near about the average of his closest fast bowling contemporaries like Anderson, broad, Siddle, Morkel and Zaheer. His career bowling average is atleast 30 p.c. better than the average of all his closest competitors combined; have some respect guys.

    He is maintaining an average of 22 in a era of flat batting pitches when his nearest competitors are around 28-30; the last time a guy had such significant statistical advantage over his peers was Bradman.. enough said!

  • bijendrasinha on October 10, 2013, 5:55 GMT

    i saw 5 batsment were noted as retired out in the scorecard..since the team total too is reflecting the same as wicket fall,, can anyone please tell me in whose account those wickets will be credited..?

  • Brenton1 on October 10, 2013, 5:19 GMT

    So the bowlers cant take wickets. I dont think thats the point. For PAK A batsmen its about pushing for a place in their top team. For SA its about getting used to conditions. The intensity of a test isnt there. At the end of the day both teams are getting what they want. Dont read too much into this.

  • Marktc on October 10, 2013, 5:17 GMT

    All of those judging the SA bowlers should come back down to earth. This is a warm up game, a long practice session. SA are getting into their rythm and not trying to go full out. Oh and t20, Steyn bolwls well everywhere, check your facts. If you are basing your opinion on this game, then stick to t20 watching. SA have a better away record. Wasim, you obviously have no clue about the SA bowling attack, so I will not even comment. My only issue may be, if they are trying to check the readiness of Pakistan players, surely they should have prepared a more competitive pitch. Not for SA to win, but to test the Pakistan batsman and see whi plays well. This pitch is no test.

  • on October 10, 2013, 1:15 GMT

    @t20cric: your name says it all. The Pak A players are playing out of their skins to earn recognition and maybe a Test spot in the near future. The SA players are easing into the conditions and ironing out any kinks. Dale Steyn's best innings figures are at Nagpur. The fact that you're even questioning whether or not he can bowl under foreign conditions is ludicrous.

  • Desihungama on October 9, 2013, 22:15 GMT

    @Greatest_game. Wasim and Waqar and Imran and Sarfaraz did not complain. They went about their business inventing reverse swings, toe crushing Yorkers developing variety in their armory. What cricketing innovation SA has offered to world cricket?

  • warneneverchuck on October 9, 2013, 22:13 GMT

    Sa pacers can only take wickets on helpful pitches. Pakistam wil thrash this so called great team

  • Desihungama on October 9, 2013, 21:56 GMT

    It's Pakistan that needed the batting practice and not SA so why put Saffas to bat first and be able to bat again considering captains had already decided on 100 over per innings? Mind boggling or mind blowing as Indians say.

  • on October 9, 2013, 21:37 GMT

    @Greatest_Game You're right it was J'burg. Not Cape Town. Way to focus on that and ignore the rest of my comment though. 5500 feet high J'burg must be the ideal cricket conditions, right? Ridiculous! Ajmal was basically nullified. Welcome down to earth. Enjoy the desert now, instead of complaining about how wickets should suit your one-trick pony bowling attack. Not our fault if you can't develop a single decent spinner in 21 years. We even gave you Imran Tahir to help your one-dimensional bowling attack, so you can play a test with us in Durban, but no sir! Durban bad! UAE bad! SL bad! That's what happens when your bowling attack can't reverse swing, can't in-swing, can't spin. You can't remain number 1 for long without ever conquering UAE and other alien conditions.

  • MrGarreth on October 9, 2013, 20:03 GMT

    Not much you can read into this. Boys wont push themselves for a warm up and the captain has no plans because of how pointless it is. We got carted around in the warm ups in the England tour and look what happened. Intensity and plans are where you get your wickets and I doubt very much either were on show here. Just glad the boys got a chance to get used to conditions as well as find their lengths which will be crucial. Glad all the bowlers got a chance too.

  • t20cric on October 9, 2013, 19:59 GMT

    All this talk of the pitch and that SA bowlers are not trying is true. But although it is true you cant simply say that only cuz of these things Pak A are playing good. SA are the best test team in the world by far, they have some of the best batsmen and some of the best bowlers in the test world. Considering these things they should be able bowl and bat like champions in all conditions. SA should not have had any trouble at all facing this inexperienced A team. If you compare the economies of Pak A"S inexperienced pacers and SA"s experienced pacers it is amazing that most Pak pacers actually are more economical. Good bowlers have the ability to be good on every pitch. Remember the great spinner Murali who could make the ball spin anywhere. If SA's Steyn is so great he should be able to bowl good here to. Every team is stronger at their home and now that the great team SA have set foot outside home a team like Pak may actually surprise them.

  • on October 9, 2013, 19:42 GMT

    Its a very simple case that Faisal Iqbal's current score should be taken as a strong sign that he is not good enough to take field in the first test. Pakistan should go for inform batsmen and those who have scored here. Form over reputation.. Or should I say form over nepotism.

  • t20cric on October 9, 2013, 19:40 GMT

    Good batting by Pakistan A it is quite refreshing to see A Pakistani team bat good after a long time even though it is in the sub continent. Shan's 50 is worrying for me as I don't want him being selected no matter what anyways the 50 was quite slow with a strike rate of only 35. Ahmed batted very well today and in my eyes he is the clear candidate for the second opener. Azhar has justified his selection with a 50 at a reasonable pace. Faisal just failed again which is quite embarrassing when all others before him have scored 50s. Akbar should have been selected instead of Faisal. Asad is batting good so far and looks set to take the second of 3 spots if he can score 50+. It's too early to tell about Amin currently but he is scoring just as slowly as Shan he should score 50 to justify his selection. Once one of Asad or Amin score a 50 they should retire and let Sohaib get a chance, based on his SR for list A & t20 (1st class SR not listed) he seems an aggressive batsman

  • on October 9, 2013, 19:32 GMT

    To everyone saying the pitch is flat and dead. Do remember where the grounds are, you cant have pace friendly pitches just to accomodate the fast bowlers. Spinners are as integral to the game as the pacers. Every country prepares pitches that suits their style of play and if the pitches prepared are going to be spin friendly, do remember that in Dubai in 4 TESTS , 126 wickets have fell, thats more than 30 wickets per match. Same is the case with Abu Dhabi where in 3 matches bowlers have managed 94 scalps. Now aren't they close to the stage where u can manage to get the results. Such pitches are also important for the game of Cricket and to test the batsmen techniques and resoluteness. To prepare the pitches just to accommodate the fast bowlers is no good, thats not fair, u have to give others a chance too. In the end i just hope Pak batsmen dont crumble and we could see fascinating test and yes of course hoping for Pakistan to give something back to the Saffas......;)

  • on October 9, 2013, 19:09 GMT

    On the other hand, Pakistani 2nd string bowlers dismissed Smith, Kallis, AB and Faf in less than 100 overs, so every TRUE cricket fan shouting for dead wickets check this first........ From the report, i took that only Philander was the only one among the pace trio who troubled batsmen bcoz of his nagging line and length. So Saffas welcome to the Dusty bowls of Sub Continent, you cant have always green tops where you demolish the opponents and take pride without giving them fair chance to have some experience by playing some practice matches. The HOME ADVANTAGE is what Pakistan dont have for more than 6 years and still the world humiliate them when they dont play competitive cricket. If you have got the upper hand now you should feel responsibility and support them rather than ridiculing them. Thats what Sports is all about. It is only Pakistan that is still creating their chances to remain in the top echelons. I bet no other country would have sustained such a bad patch. Publish plz..

  • IAS2009 on October 9, 2013, 18:59 GMT

    Pakistan could beat SA 3-0 (if they put 300 plus score batting first it is quite possible), it will be sweet revenge. bring on spinning wicket for SA, England made all pitches to suit their bowling in Ashes, Aussies will be looking for pitches with good bounce in their home series against england, but they made flat tracks for SA series last year. It is unfair for commentators to blame south Asian teams for their pitch preparation.

  • on October 9, 2013, 18:55 GMT

    Its good to see Pakistan backup players showing some grit & making the Saffas work hard for the wickets. To see Steyn bowl 13 overs and didnt get a single wicket tells you the work of the Pakistani batsmen, no matter how flat the pitch is or Dale not giving his 100%. The only credible wicket they got is of Ahmed Shahzad and that too by Peterson "due to a lack of temperament rather than being outfoxed". The pace trio bowled 33 overs and sent back just Faisal Iqbal who imo is just there to get it in his CV and has no chance getting into the squad unless selectors goes nuts. So on the whole Pakistan effectively lost just 1 wicket 78 overs and by the bowler whose chances are till yet 50/50 to play the first test. Now that my friends is quite an achievement by the players who beforehand has got no such international experience....... Contiued.......

  • Greatest_Game on October 9, 2013, 18:40 GMT

    @ Wasim Ghumro. You seem very confused. Cape Town is where Pakistan performed best, and were at their most competitive, in the SECOND test. Having only winter rainfall, Cape Town is the most spin friendly pitch in the country, especially in the late summer, when Pak played there.

    Pak concluded their successful ODI series in India on Jan 6, and on Jan 18 most of the Pak team played in the Presidents trophy final - scorecard here: http://www.espncricinfo.com/pakistan-domestic-2012/engine/match/584312.html

    That left them 13 days to get to SA to play warm up games, which SA were happy to arrange. The PCB decided the team's agenda, not SA. That decision was criticized by former Pak Captain Ramiz Raja here: http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/current/video_audio/603372.html

    Raja also specifically criticises Pak's domestic cricket for not preparing players for differing conditions around the world. That is not SA's fault!

    Please get the facts right before unfairly criticising SA.

  • on October 9, 2013, 18:13 GMT

    I think Amin should play ahead of Asad or Azhar in the tests. Zulfiqar must play as he's twice the bowler Rehman is.

  • fizo313 on October 9, 2013, 17:28 GMT

    Pakistan will do better in Dubai against S.Africa............

  • on October 9, 2013, 17:24 GMT

    Since 3 more spots are available - logically all 3 batsmen - I don't understand the point of letting Azhar Ali get bat over Sohaib Maqsood whose only chance to impress the selectors was to bat here. Azhar should have played with rest of the test squad vs UAE to get his match practice - a sad fact that both teams have to play warm up games because its a neutral venue. Naturally, Amin did not let Sohaib bat as he is trying to secure his own place in XI. Sohaib also took a wicket, but was quickly taken off, possibly for the same reason.

  • on October 9, 2013, 17:13 GMT

    it was a practice match . nothing can be said for sure. But 1 thing is certain that pcb will make spinning tracks not anything to support pacers. Styen Phil and morkel are good enough with new ball. But it will not be a piece of cake. SA should play imran with duminy and robin.

    Pakistan have ajmal and rehman and i think they should select ahmed shehzad as 2nd opener and he can bowl leg spin as well as azhar ali.

    Ahmed has good 1st class record. Even better thank his listA record. Can bowl as well.

    so far apart from faisal iqbal all have got 50s. ahmed only wicket.

  • mzm149 on October 9, 2013, 17:11 GMT

    @Greatest_Game: I got your point. Flat tracks like Brisbane and Adelaide which Australia prepared against South Africa last year result in a drawn series. Curators are going to prepare spin friendly tracks which we all know. It's a trend these days to prepare pitches where the strength of the opposition is mitigated and strength of the home side gets enhanced. Every country does that. Asian teams completely eliminate fast bowling out of the equation and Non Asian teams completely ignore spin bowling. Pitches presented to opposition in practice matches are quite different from actual pitches in the series. This is usually done to surprise the visitors but they know beforehand what sort of pitches they are likely to get.

  • on October 9, 2013, 17:10 GMT

    it is funny to read coments that fair pitch is where bowlers also get good help. Yes agreed. Spinners are also bowlers. Arent they?

  • on October 9, 2013, 17:06 GMT

    Guys this was flat pitch but i am sure the actual pitches will not be flat. But also will not be that much good for pace bowlers. If some comments here mean that "good pitch" is the one which only suits their style then same is the logic pcb will use,. If they gona use 3 spinners then do not expect them to make something which will give pace bowlers anything.

    it may not be flat in test matches but it will be more towards turning side. So philander, styen may not be that effective. Morkel will get good bounce. Philander has good discipline so he can get wickets early on.

  • on October 9, 2013, 16:58 GMT

    Hence, proven Faisal Iqbal was a waste of a spot. Don't know why he has been selected again and again, when likes of Akber ur Rehman, Fawad Alam and Haris Sohail keep waiting for their chances. Everyone performed today, which shows we have good back up players if need be in Shan Masood, Azhar Ali, and posibbly Asad Shafiq. Coming to the point of playing on a flat deck, well it won't be as easy in the real game, this is for the practice of both teams. It will be friendly to seamers early on and off to the spinners like the England series. Hatred of flat tracks only makes me appreciate the likes of Wasim, Waqar, and Imran who had equally impressive records in the subcontinent.

  • on October 9, 2013, 16:41 GMT

    South Africa should be thankful they even got a warm up game. Pakistan was never given a warm up game and were landed straight to the 1st test match so the cape town bullies can get them out cheaply. A test in Durban was avoided too, because SA knew they would lose there. Philander just got the first taste of bowling out of his comfort zone, and Steyn was useless the last time he played in UAE as well. Not every place in the world is going to play like cape town.

  • Jda123 on October 9, 2013, 16:35 GMT

    Why the hell is Maqsood not getting a chance to bat, greedy tactics from Amin.

  • Dark.Matter on October 9, 2013, 16:18 GMT

    SA boys, welcome to the land of camels. Remember that the pitch would also behave like the speed of camels. Prepare yourself for the camel riding, which would obviously not be as smooth as car racing.

  • Kapeel on October 9, 2013, 16:10 GMT

    Pakistan palying XI for 1st test should be: 1) K.Manzoor 2) Ahmed Shehzad 3)A.Ali 4)Y.Khan 5)M.Ul-Haq 6)A.Shafiq / U.Amin 7)A.Akmal 8)A.Rehman 9)S.Ajmal 10)J.khan 11)M.Irfan

  • Greatest_Game on October 9, 2013, 15:58 GMT

    @ mzm149 asked "I don't get it how are flat pitches disgraceful? Just like green tops which assist fast bowlers only, flats pitches assist batsmen more."

    Batsmen can, and do, score plenty of runs on pitches that have some life. However, the bowlers also are part of the game, and the pitch gives them something to work with. It provides an actual contest between bat and ball. Whether the pitch offers more to swing bowlers, pace bowlers, seam bowlers, finger spinners, wrist spinners or any other variety of bowler, at least it makes the game a contact, and not a run-fest.

    Dead pitches, flat pitches, make the game unequal - no contest between bat and ball. They remove the life from the game. Significantly, they do not produce results, and thus defeat the objective of the game: a contest between teams. When a pitch produces only batting practice for poor batsmen, it kills the game.

    Ask the opinion of Wasim, Waquar, Imran, Shoab. Ask them whether a flat dead pitch is worth playing on.

  • AA77 on October 9, 2013, 15:30 GMT

    The pitch is a disgrace - completely agree. On a 'fair' pitch - to both batter and bowler - 330 should be a good total; 400 an excellent total and 500+ should not normally be possibly. This is generally very true of South African pitches where this is generally true. case in point is SA in Australia last time where the Australian pitches were extremely poor resulting in aberrations like Faf's knock - excellent however given the circumstances. Another case in point is the subcontinent where 600+ innings are commonplace and a profound waste of time. Credit to India for looking to improve - i.e. offer non-slow bowlers more - their wickets.

  • laho111 on October 9, 2013, 14:55 GMT

    Why didnt give chance to Akber ur rehman the top scorer or domestic season with 90 avg. He really deserve to play in national team and better player then umar ameen and azher ali.

  • laho111 on October 9, 2013, 14:48 GMT

    @Usman Ghani and three more punjabi heroes, Ahmed shehzad 27 ODI with 25 avg, Umer ameen 4 test with 12 avg, Hafeez 34 test 33 avg

  • mzm149 on October 9, 2013, 13:45 GMT

    @TommytuckerSaffa: I don't get it how are flat pitches disgraceful? Just like green tops which assist fast bowlers only, flats pitches assist batsmen more. What distinguishes world class bowlers from ordinary ones is that they perform in all sorts of conditions. The pitches used in actual games will assist spin bowling even more without any assistance for pacers. Pakistan is planing to play with 3 full time spinners. This gives enough hints on how pitches in actual games would be like. If South Africa has best bowlers they should perform even on flat tracks.

  • Beertjie on October 9, 2013, 13:39 GMT

    Good to see Ali get a knock. Manzoor and he should open and Amin and Shafiq could be sandwiched in between Younis and Misbah.

  • dirtydozen on October 9, 2013, 12:57 GMT

    if players like shehzad are getting chances then players like usman salahuddin, fawad alam and sadaf hussain should get a chance as well. or there is another option for likes of fawad alam and usman salahuddin which is by following the option of fawad ahmed by migrating to australia. They will get direct call up by playing for one or two season

  • TommytuckerSaffa on October 9, 2013, 12:55 GMT

    Disgraceful pitch, we dont want to see draws in Test cricket. I thought we have moved past this.

  • on October 9, 2013, 12:38 GMT

    we need to remember one thing here that is, its Paistan's home series just played in UAE and if its a slow turning pitch than it is similer to pitches in Pakistan by this fact i m baffled that people are making this an issue, India does it always so as other subcontinent sides. well i see its a better show by batsmen and toil for bolwers and both teams are even at this moment, Pakistan has a good spinners in saeed, rehman and zulfiqar and SA has batsman like amla, kallis and smith. wishing best of luck to Pakistan

  • NixNixon on October 9, 2013, 12:21 GMT

    @ gsingh; I hear what you say BUT. Conditions obviously helps a bowler and one cannot reason and say that because a bowler struggles on a pitch that makes it near to impossible to take wickets that he is now at the same level as other bowlers. Those same Pakistan bowlers cant take wickets on SA pitches that assists bowlers. So that still means SA bowlers are better. Don't know if this is too difficult for you to understand. Meaning that on flat tracks SA and PAK bowlers don't take wickets and on green wickets SA bowlers do and PAK still don't. Its like asking adjmal to spin the ball on water and then if he cant you say he cannot spin. Anyways your comments are fueled by jealousy,

  • on October 9, 2013, 12:12 GMT

    And here is another hero wid the avg of 36 n sr 42 in 21 test matches mr asad shafiq who does not know how to leave the ball.

  • TJP1000 on October 9, 2013, 12:09 GMT

    You guys are drawing conclusions way too quickly. Firstly, the pitch is most probably a road. Secondly and more importantly, the SA fast bowlers (Steyn, Philander and Morkel) never really bowl well in warm-up matches. They bowl within themselves and make sure they are ready for the real deal. Come the 14th the Pakistani batsmen will face the real music from these guys. I'm not saying it's gonna be easy, but I am sure the SA team will either draw the series or walk away as real champions! looking forward to a bumper of a test match!

  • on October 9, 2013, 12:08 GMT

    Faisal iqbal a real hero of pakistan plenty of chances wid the avg of 26 what a joke yr

  • on October 9, 2013, 12:06 GMT

    If the wickets are going to be like this then we might as well leave the games and go to a pub and have a cold one as it would be a total waist of time. Sa to score 500 plus in every innings.

  • Solid_Snake on October 9, 2013, 12:05 GMT

    When Test match was getting finished in 3 or 4 days..People had problem with that.Now same people are complaining about slow pitches..

  • on October 9, 2013, 12:04 GMT

    waste of time this pitch- SA quicks would be stupid to kill themselves here. Aus had same kind of pitches in Aus versus SA. Hence Aus ill-prepared for both India and England. Look how Pakistan lost to Zimbabwe - batsmen get a false idea of their abilities. Hopefully this pitch is only designed to prevent SA from preparing properly for the tests, if not Pakistan will never improve their skills.

  • mzm149 on October 9, 2013, 11:52 GMT

    gsingh7: You change your statements quite fast. Two days ago you were predicting whitewash of Pakistan. Now all of a sudden you are fearing whitewash of South Africa. What an irony. There will be spin friendly tracks in series instead of flat tracks where fast bowlers will be more toothless and spinners will rule.

  • gsingh7 on October 9, 2013, 11:40 GMT

    what happened to best fast bowling side in the world? i guess on flat tracks they are on level with pakistani bowlers who are 6th in test rankings, its one thing to play on green tracks of sa ,its different thing altogether to get wickets on flat tracks of india or uae. its the litmus test of fast bowlers to bowl well in adverse conditions. i hope sa dont get whitewashed like england in uae where wickets are flat as road with only help for spinners. even fragile batting line up of pakistan can score runs on these flat tracks

  • on October 9, 2013, 11:13 GMT

    calm down guys let the real battle begin.....watch out for some good cricket.....i hope pak play zulifqar babar instead of A.Rehman as he will be the surprise package for SA or play all the 3 spinners

  • heartbreakerz on October 9, 2013, 11:00 GMT

    That's the problem with UAE pitches, they are too flat and favour the batsmen too much, that's why most of the tests in UAE have been draws and even in the Eng series the pitches were not raging turners, they were flat n slow but the Eng batsmen had no clue about Ajmal n Rehman which led to their downfall. I hope that the pitches in these SA tests provide more balance between bat n ball.

  • on October 9, 2013, 10:32 GMT

    offcourse this pitch is flat but original will be turning not helpful for fast bowlers. If pcb wants a good series then they have to make turning wickets not flats to see 500/3 and drawm matches with bowlers getting hammered bu batsmen.

  • on October 9, 2013, 10:25 GMT

    I think its the pitch Mr Solid-Snake

  • PureProteas49 on October 9, 2013, 10:18 GMT

    It doesn't take rocket science to see how flat these pitches are, If this is what's going to be prepared when the tournament starts, The result will be a drawn series

  • Solid_Snake on October 9, 2013, 10:18 GMT

    Is this same Steyn & Phillander?Change of pitch,conditions & players getting toothless.Getting thrashed by A team batsmen.Lets see how Pak main side batsmen cope up with the SA bowlers

  • Captain_Tuk_Tuk on October 9, 2013, 10:10 GMT

    Morkel, Styen, Philander welcome to UAE :)

  • on October 9, 2013, 10:05 GMT

    Look at strong reply by A team openers. Those who take lightly against PAK would realize now what they can capable of. Interesting to see how best bowling line up cope against this A team and their comparison with A team's bowling department. The time has changed now and other team are catching up fast with SA,AUS,ENG.

  • SurlyCynic on October 9, 2013, 10:01 GMT

    What a flat pitch. Reminds me of SA's last tour to the UAE where all games were draws.

  • on October 9, 2013, 9:45 GMT

    Who can justify usman qadir's selection? 31 avg wid bowl n 25 wid bat in few matches

  • on October 9, 2013, 9:34 GMT

    Pak A should have batted 1st to get some more batting practice. Anyway openers doing well. Slow at start to cope with new ball and going well.

    I think ahmed shezad will be selected as 2nd opener. In fact he has healthy 1st class avg than his career list A.

    And also can bowl some leg breaks. Have got aboy 27 wickets in domestic career. So might be handy in UAE vs SA.

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  • on October 9, 2013, 9:34 GMT

    Pak A should have batted 1st to get some more batting practice. Anyway openers doing well. Slow at start to cope with new ball and going well.

    I think ahmed shezad will be selected as 2nd opener. In fact he has healthy 1st class avg than his career list A.

    And also can bowl some leg breaks. Have got aboy 27 wickets in domestic career. So might be handy in UAE vs SA.

  • on October 9, 2013, 9:45 GMT

    Who can justify usman qadir's selection? 31 avg wid bowl n 25 wid bat in few matches

  • SurlyCynic on October 9, 2013, 10:01 GMT

    What a flat pitch. Reminds me of SA's last tour to the UAE where all games were draws.

  • on October 9, 2013, 10:05 GMT

    Look at strong reply by A team openers. Those who take lightly against PAK would realize now what they can capable of. Interesting to see how best bowling line up cope against this A team and their comparison with A team's bowling department. The time has changed now and other team are catching up fast with SA,AUS,ENG.

  • Captain_Tuk_Tuk on October 9, 2013, 10:10 GMT

    Morkel, Styen, Philander welcome to UAE :)

  • Solid_Snake on October 9, 2013, 10:18 GMT

    Is this same Steyn & Phillander?Change of pitch,conditions & players getting toothless.Getting thrashed by A team batsmen.Lets see how Pak main side batsmen cope up with the SA bowlers

  • PureProteas49 on October 9, 2013, 10:18 GMT

    It doesn't take rocket science to see how flat these pitches are, If this is what's going to be prepared when the tournament starts, The result will be a drawn series

  • on October 9, 2013, 10:25 GMT

    I think its the pitch Mr Solid-Snake

  • on October 9, 2013, 10:32 GMT

    offcourse this pitch is flat but original will be turning not helpful for fast bowlers. If pcb wants a good series then they have to make turning wickets not flats to see 500/3 and drawm matches with bowlers getting hammered bu batsmen.

  • heartbreakerz on October 9, 2013, 11:00 GMT

    That's the problem with UAE pitches, they are too flat and favour the batsmen too much, that's why most of the tests in UAE have been draws and even in the Eng series the pitches were not raging turners, they were flat n slow but the Eng batsmen had no clue about Ajmal n Rehman which led to their downfall. I hope that the pitches in these SA tests provide more balance between bat n ball.