Match ends in tame draw
Patron's XI 302 for 8 (Rizwan 56, Umar 50, Harris 3-75) drew with
South Africans 467 (Boucher 109*, Amla 87, Rizwan 7-144)
A fighting but fluent 95-run partnership for the sixth wicket between Rizwan Ahmed and Test discard Asim Kamal carried Patron's XI to safety after a mid-innings wobble and ensured the tour match against the South Africans ended in a draw at tea on the final day.
Kamal and Rizwan came together after Patron's XI lost their overnight batsmen to the pace of Makhaya Ntini and Andre Nel. Kamal shrugged aside his omission yet again from the Test squad, mixing some delightful drives with a couple of slog sweeps. His timing, particularly square of the wicket, was exceptional but his scoring was curbed by a heavy outfield.
He batted with ease, driving the seamers and cutting the spinners, Paul Harris and Graeme Smith, and fell against the run of play. Chasing a wide delivery from Smith, Kamal top-edged a cut to backward point where Hashim Amla took a low catch. He lingered at the crease, his disappointment at another missed opportunity evident.
Rizwan, with a first-class average of over 36, punctuated his defensive game with a few classy cover-drives in his 56. He was especially severe on Harris, pulling him to the midwicket boundary and on one occasion smashing him out of the ground.
Two wickets in three balls - including that of Rizwan - from Harris caused a brief panic but Sarfraz Ahmed (29*) counterattacked with two boundaries in the following over to ease the pressure.
Harris was the pick of the South African attack with Morne Morkel and Dale Steyn going wicketless. Morkel picked up a foot injury earlier in the day and bowled two overs, putting his participation in the first Test in serious doubt.
Mickey Arthur, South Africa's coach, was satisfied with his team's performance and said the team was in good shape for the Test. "Our preparation was outstanding, we got what we wanted - bowlers having two spells each and batsmen spending time in the middle."
He reserved special praise for Harris who finished with figures of 3 for 75. "Harris started off slowly yesterday but improved as the match progressed. He varied his pace well and will add a new dimension to the attack that we have not had for the last couple of years."
Faras Ghani is an editorial assistant on Cricinfo