Patron's XI v South Africans, Karachi, 2nd day September 28, 2007

Boucher puts South Africans in charge

Patron's XI 136 for 3 (Umar 50, Yousuf 42) trail South Africans 466 (Boucher 109*, Amla 87, de Villiers 81, Rizwan 7-144) by 330 runs

Mark Boucher hit an unbeaten 109 to propel South Africans to a commanding position © AFP
A patient century by Mark Boucher and a committed effort by Rizwan Ahmed, the legspinner, in picking up seven wickets were the highlights of the second day of the tour match in Karachi. At the close, Patron's XI were 136 for 3, trailing the South Africans' first innings of 466 by 330 runs.

Taufeeq Umar, the Patron's XI captain, celebrated his inclusion in the Test squad by scoring a half-century off 96 balls. Hitting six boundaries in all, the impressive Umar staked a claim for a place in the Pakistan side before being bowled off an inside edge late in the day. He was soon followed by Shahid Yousuf who perished trying to hit Paul Harris out of the ground. It could have been even worse but Herschelle Gibbs dropped Adnan Raza in the last over.

In the morning Boucher and AB de Villiers resumed in confident fashion after Umar took the new ball straight away. Although he set attacking fields for his opening bowlers Anwar Ali and Uzair-ul-Haq, the batsmen were seldom troubled.

Shrugging off a confident shout for lbw in the first over, de Villiers brought up his half-century with a glance to fine leg. Uzair-ul-Haq, bowling with pace despite unhelpful conditions, induced two edges off Boucher but both evaded the slips. Junaid Zia replaced him in the 12th over as Uzair swapped ends hoping to extract some steep bounce.

The 118-run partnership was broken when de Villiers was caught at slip by Umar off Rizwan, his 182-ball 81 including eight fours. Morne Morkel started aggressively by hitting Mansoor over long-on for a massive six but was foxed by a Rizwan googly in the following over as Patron's XI prised out quick wickets just before lunch.

Boucher started the afternoon aggressively and played some scorching drives against the legspinning duo of Rizwan and Mansoor Amjad. A defensive field was set for him with six fielders placed on the boundary, offering easy singles and twos. Boucher put on 58 for the eighth wicket with Andre Nel, who made 14 before being stumped after missing a flighted delivery from Rizwan.

Boucher brought up his century off 181 balls and celebrated by smashing the next ball from Rizwan for six. Harris tried to do the same, but top edged a pull to square leg, giving Rizwan his seventh wicket. Boucher remained unbeaten on 109 at end of the innings.

The South Africans won't want to spend too long in the field tomorrow given the searing heat, and their aim will be to take quick wickets and then give their batsmen as much time in the middle as possible on what will be the final day.

Faras Ghani is an editorial assistant on Cricinfo