Pakistan v South Africa, 1st Test, Abu Dhabi, 2nd day October 15, 2013

Misbah's fire and fury

Plays of the day from the second day of the first Test between Pakistan and South Africa in Abu Dhabi
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The scene-setter

Hashim Amla and the South African tail would have hoped to take the total as close to 300 as possible, but Pakistan put paid to any of those thoughts as early as the second ball, courtesy Mohammad Irfan. After showing how well he could use his feet yesterday, Amla was stuck in his crease as he prodded at one that only just left him and offered a catch to second slip. Younis Khan collected, to become Pakistan's joint record-holder for catches, with Javed Miandad.

The butterflies

To take first strike against the attack lauded as being the best in the world is an anxious experience for any opening batsman, much less a debutant. The first ball Shan Masood faced might only have increased his nervousness. With Dale Steyn focused on pursuing a fuller length, Masood stepped forward and got an outside edge which beat third slip and gully. The result was four runs but the way it came would have served as an indication to Masood about what he would be up against.

The chance

South Africa did not have many of these but Masood presented one in the fifth over when he edged to second slip. Jacques Kallis' usually quick reactions were a milli-second slower and in taking the tiniest bit of extra time to move his hands forward, the ball dropped short and scooted through his legs to give Masood a run and a lifeline.

The crack

Forget tuk-tuk, Misbah-ul-Haq put his first runs on the board with the fire and fury of a sports car. With Morne Morkel trying to generate something special, like the delivery that caught Younis Khan offguard, he went short and wide and Misbah smashed the ball past point. Even from behind the glass windows of the press box, which seem to be insulated from most sounds, the crack was audible. In the field, no one moved, as though they had been stunned by Misbah's aggression.

The celebration

This was only Khurram Manzoor's third Test since making his comeback against Zimbabwe in August and he is quickly making the opening spot his own. He followed up his back-to-back fifties in Harare with a century here and had a fitting celebration to enjoy it. Manzoor lost two of his partners during the last 14 runs needed for his ton and had to slow down. But on 91, he punished Robin Peterson with two strong sweeps, and a push through cover later, he was punching the air as he completed the first run. The 4000-strong crowd were on their feet, applauding and cheering, and Manzoor gave them a prolonged arms-in-the-air pose, before kneeling down in sajda and embracing his captain.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on October 16, 2013, 8:03 GMT

    Kind of interesting how everyone is going on about Tendulkar overstaying his welcome when it seems to have slipped under the radar that Misbah is 40 next birthday yet playing very well indeed. Some life in the seniors yet, I think!

  • on October 16, 2013, 3:20 GMT

    We all agree that Steyn is THE STEYN. He is without doubt the best quick in the world today (Irfan rapidly rising to second place). For a player of Steyn's stature to throw the ball at Manzoor is inexcusable. I hope the 3rd umpire takes note of this and docks him his match fee. We expect the best players to exhibit better behaviour than that. Time to bring THE STEYN back in line.

  • orangtan on October 16, 2013, 0:51 GMT

    @Zahidsaltin you are way too pessimistic, the Saffers are very much on the back foot, even a lead of 100-125 should be sufficient... can't see the Saffers getting more than 200 in the 3rd innings against a well-balanced attack of 2 aggressive pacemen and 2 wily spinners. A well-deserved 2-0 victory for the much maligned Pakistan team against the # 1 team will erase the memories of the defeat in Zimbabwe. I feel Pakistan could march up to # 1 as long as the batters continue to play proper Test cricket as Masood and Manzoor have done in this Test and Misbah always does, the Magnificent M's !!

  • Guduji71 on October 15, 2013, 23:48 GMT

    We badly need Umar Akmal at No 6 position. Fawad Alam is another player we should try. I believe if Asad and Azhar do not succeed in the this match then we should give chance to Umar Akmal and Fawad Alam.

  • on October 15, 2013, 20:36 GMT

    The fire & fury comes after Imran Farhat & Hafeez are replaced with Khurram Manzoor & Shan Masood, and Misbah get to play without pressure for a change. Hope Haris Suhail replaces Azhar Ali in the next one.

  • wrenx on October 15, 2013, 17:18 GMT

    @Zahidsaltin Azhar needs time and confidence, he has a well-organised technique and the temperament to succeed in test cricket. He will find his form, I'm sure, he's shown ability that we have desperately lacked in others. Younis didn't throw away the advantage, he got a brute of a ball from Morkel. It wasn't his day, and there's always the second innigns - you can count on Younis Khan to come good at least once per series

  • wrenx on October 15, 2013, 17:16 GMT

    I'm surprised that South Africa didn't learn from England's example last year, and didn't go in with 2 specialist spinners. The cricinfo articles yesterday were quick to criticise Pakistan for not picking another seamer, but clearly Misbah was playing the longer game, and across the test he'll value the extra spinner more than another quick, especially when he's without Hafeez

  • on October 15, 2013, 16:46 GMT

    Defensive tactic from SA to play Robin (Pathetic) Peterson ! ImranTahir would have been much more effective

  • JamesTHEwalldravid on October 15, 2013, 16:39 GMT

    I think you missed the best moment of the day, when Steyn kept trying to intimidate Khurram and even went so fare as throwing the ball at him! but Khurram responded by starring him down and blowing kisses at Steyn. How could you miss that?

  • Extraz on October 15, 2013, 16:27 GMT

    You missed that moment when steyn got frustrated and tried to hit manzoor instead of the stumps and then manzoor gave him some flying kisses...that was great to watch.

  • on October 16, 2013, 8:03 GMT

    Kind of interesting how everyone is going on about Tendulkar overstaying his welcome when it seems to have slipped under the radar that Misbah is 40 next birthday yet playing very well indeed. Some life in the seniors yet, I think!

  • on October 16, 2013, 3:20 GMT

    We all agree that Steyn is THE STEYN. He is without doubt the best quick in the world today (Irfan rapidly rising to second place). For a player of Steyn's stature to throw the ball at Manzoor is inexcusable. I hope the 3rd umpire takes note of this and docks him his match fee. We expect the best players to exhibit better behaviour than that. Time to bring THE STEYN back in line.

  • orangtan on October 16, 2013, 0:51 GMT

    @Zahidsaltin you are way too pessimistic, the Saffers are very much on the back foot, even a lead of 100-125 should be sufficient... can't see the Saffers getting more than 200 in the 3rd innings against a well-balanced attack of 2 aggressive pacemen and 2 wily spinners. A well-deserved 2-0 victory for the much maligned Pakistan team against the # 1 team will erase the memories of the defeat in Zimbabwe. I feel Pakistan could march up to # 1 as long as the batters continue to play proper Test cricket as Masood and Manzoor have done in this Test and Misbah always does, the Magnificent M's !!

  • Guduji71 on October 15, 2013, 23:48 GMT

    We badly need Umar Akmal at No 6 position. Fawad Alam is another player we should try. I believe if Asad and Azhar do not succeed in the this match then we should give chance to Umar Akmal and Fawad Alam.

  • on October 15, 2013, 20:36 GMT

    The fire & fury comes after Imran Farhat & Hafeez are replaced with Khurram Manzoor & Shan Masood, and Misbah get to play without pressure for a change. Hope Haris Suhail replaces Azhar Ali in the next one.

  • wrenx on October 15, 2013, 17:18 GMT

    @Zahidsaltin Azhar needs time and confidence, he has a well-organised technique and the temperament to succeed in test cricket. He will find his form, I'm sure, he's shown ability that we have desperately lacked in others. Younis didn't throw away the advantage, he got a brute of a ball from Morkel. It wasn't his day, and there's always the second innigns - you can count on Younis Khan to come good at least once per series

  • wrenx on October 15, 2013, 17:16 GMT

    I'm surprised that South Africa didn't learn from England's example last year, and didn't go in with 2 specialist spinners. The cricinfo articles yesterday were quick to criticise Pakistan for not picking another seamer, but clearly Misbah was playing the longer game, and across the test he'll value the extra spinner more than another quick, especially when he's without Hafeez

  • on October 15, 2013, 16:46 GMT

    Defensive tactic from SA to play Robin (Pathetic) Peterson ! ImranTahir would have been much more effective

  • JamesTHEwalldravid on October 15, 2013, 16:39 GMT

    I think you missed the best moment of the day, when Steyn kept trying to intimidate Khurram and even went so fare as throwing the ball at him! but Khurram responded by starring him down and blowing kisses at Steyn. How could you miss that?

  • Extraz on October 15, 2013, 16:27 GMT

    You missed that moment when steyn got frustrated and tried to hit manzoor instead of the stumps and then manzoor gave him some flying kisses...that was great to watch.

  • on October 15, 2013, 16:17 GMT

    No one is talking about throw of Dale Steyn .. Really pathetic show of frustration by a world class bowler of home pitches

  • Zahidsaltin on October 15, 2013, 15:56 GMT

    Pakistan has a very long tail and the signs are not so good with Azhar and Younis destroying the advantage provided by the opners. They, at least need a lead of 200 to minimize the target in the 4th innings. And South Africa, with a new cherry in their hands have every chance to wrape it up tomorrow in the first session. So I will say it still stands 50/50.

  • ihaq1 on October 15, 2013, 15:31 GMT

    one must praise shan masood i think that he batted so well in his first innings despite knicking teh ball quite a lot...his domestic average of 38 in 57 matches shows that he is consistent which is what pakistan want...khurram manzoor also improved on his previous performances...the south africans battery of pacemen though bowling well especially morne morkel were still not enough...their lone spinner seemed tobe a rookie and duminy did not trouble either...one can see how things improve if teh openers bat well...this is teh first 100 run opening partnership for pakistan in 22 innings... who said we were a good team before this...!

  • on October 15, 2013, 15:31 GMT

    What a difference the new openers have made. Such luxury was never available to pakistan because of players like hafeez and farhat. Pakistan must play at least two sessions tomorrow and take a sizeable lead.

  • king78787 on October 15, 2013, 15:09 GMT

    Pathetic from the Saffers. The one thing they miss is a wicket taking spinner. Everything else they are fine in terms of back ups and first XI members. But on a spinners wicket 3 pace bowlers will tire very quickly in the UAE heat and with nothing to work with. This is when a spinner comes on, keeps it tight and slows it all down. Peterson can't even do that. Really poor...

  • Adnan-Ahmed on October 15, 2013, 14:52 GMT

    Nice to see the openers doing what they're suppose to which gave Misbah freedom to score a bit more freely. If anything, I have even higher respect for Misbah, he is there in a crisis & is performing when there isn't one. I'm proud of have him as our captain.

  • St00rt on October 15, 2013, 14:45 GMT

    @Ibrarhunzai... If it bounced before Smith in the slip, how do you figure that it was a missed chance. Perhaps you've never fielded in the slips but slip fielders don't normally dive forward to take chances. They either carry or don't.

    On a side note, credit to the young Pakistani opener. He played really well and was not overawed by Steyn, Morkel & Co. SA will toil hard tomorrow. Pakistan could easily go past 500 on this deck.

  • on October 15, 2013, 14:38 GMT

    Pakistan need to score another 250 if they want to win. If they get out cheap tomorrow, even the target of 150 will be hard to achieve on fifth day.

  • Ibrarhunzai on October 15, 2013, 14:20 GMT

    There was another missed chance later in the day by Smith, which he claimed to be a catch, but replays showed it bownced before.

  • LeftBrain on October 15, 2013, 14:19 GMT

    Misbah's different approach to batting, mainly due to the fact that he wasnt required to do a repair job, is a welcome sign. This is only the second day of the match and scores are pretty much even. With 1 more specialist batsman (Asad Shafiq) and a handy batsman (Adnan Akmal) to come, Pakistan should be looking for atleast 150 to 200 runs of lead as I am sure SA batsmen wont repeat the same mistakes they did in 1st innings, and more importantly Pak has to bat fourth on this pitch. Babar and Ajmal hold the key for Pak.

  • on October 15, 2013, 14:15 GMT

    Not mention of Misbah's inning with a notable strike rate ? Disliked! This clearly shows his game reading, he went furious knowing that a settled partner is on crease.

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  • on October 15, 2013, 14:15 GMT

    Not mention of Misbah's inning with a notable strike rate ? Disliked! This clearly shows his game reading, he went furious knowing that a settled partner is on crease.

  • LeftBrain on October 15, 2013, 14:19 GMT

    Misbah's different approach to batting, mainly due to the fact that he wasnt required to do a repair job, is a welcome sign. This is only the second day of the match and scores are pretty much even. With 1 more specialist batsman (Asad Shafiq) and a handy batsman (Adnan Akmal) to come, Pakistan should be looking for atleast 150 to 200 runs of lead as I am sure SA batsmen wont repeat the same mistakes they did in 1st innings, and more importantly Pak has to bat fourth on this pitch. Babar and Ajmal hold the key for Pak.

  • Ibrarhunzai on October 15, 2013, 14:20 GMT

    There was another missed chance later in the day by Smith, which he claimed to be a catch, but replays showed it bownced before.

  • on October 15, 2013, 14:38 GMT

    Pakistan need to score another 250 if they want to win. If they get out cheap tomorrow, even the target of 150 will be hard to achieve on fifth day.

  • St00rt on October 15, 2013, 14:45 GMT

    @Ibrarhunzai... If it bounced before Smith in the slip, how do you figure that it was a missed chance. Perhaps you've never fielded in the slips but slip fielders don't normally dive forward to take chances. They either carry or don't.

    On a side note, credit to the young Pakistani opener. He played really well and was not overawed by Steyn, Morkel & Co. SA will toil hard tomorrow. Pakistan could easily go past 500 on this deck.

  • Adnan-Ahmed on October 15, 2013, 14:52 GMT

    Nice to see the openers doing what they're suppose to which gave Misbah freedom to score a bit more freely. If anything, I have even higher respect for Misbah, he is there in a crisis & is performing when there isn't one. I'm proud of have him as our captain.

  • king78787 on October 15, 2013, 15:09 GMT

    Pathetic from the Saffers. The one thing they miss is a wicket taking spinner. Everything else they are fine in terms of back ups and first XI members. But on a spinners wicket 3 pace bowlers will tire very quickly in the UAE heat and with nothing to work with. This is when a spinner comes on, keeps it tight and slows it all down. Peterson can't even do that. Really poor...

  • on October 15, 2013, 15:31 GMT

    What a difference the new openers have made. Such luxury was never available to pakistan because of players like hafeez and farhat. Pakistan must play at least two sessions tomorrow and take a sizeable lead.

  • ihaq1 on October 15, 2013, 15:31 GMT

    one must praise shan masood i think that he batted so well in his first innings despite knicking teh ball quite a lot...his domestic average of 38 in 57 matches shows that he is consistent which is what pakistan want...khurram manzoor also improved on his previous performances...the south africans battery of pacemen though bowling well especially morne morkel were still not enough...their lone spinner seemed tobe a rookie and duminy did not trouble either...one can see how things improve if teh openers bat well...this is teh first 100 run opening partnership for pakistan in 22 innings... who said we were a good team before this...!

  • Zahidsaltin on October 15, 2013, 15:56 GMT

    Pakistan has a very long tail and the signs are not so good with Azhar and Younis destroying the advantage provided by the opners. They, at least need a lead of 200 to minimize the target in the 4th innings. And South Africa, with a new cherry in their hands have every chance to wrape it up tomorrow in the first session. So I will say it still stands 50/50.