Emerging Cape Cobras v Pakistanis, Cape Town, 2nd day February 11, 2013

Pakistan bowlers set up thumping win


Pakistanis 176 for 6 decl. (Shafiq 45*, Bothma 3-24) & 126 for 1 decl. (Younis 74*, Bothma 1-10) beat Emerging Cape Cobras 156 (Kleinveldt 36, Irfan 4-20) & 78 (Petersen 33, Irfan 3-20) by 10 wickets

Towering seam bowler Mohammed Irfan continued to put himself in contention for a Test debut while Younis Khan came good as the Pakistanis completed their first win on tour in South Africa. They triumphed over the Emerging Cape Cobras - a team made up of cricketers who play in the second tier of the first-class competition - to get valuable game time ahead of this week's Test match.

Not much can be read into the result, given the quality of the opposition, but the match allowed for some insight into Pakistan's strategies. That they seem to be debating the opening position is obvious. Mohammed Hafeez played no part in the tour match but Imran Farhat batted at the top in both innings. He made a solid 34 on his second attempt.

Nasir Jamshed, the other opener from the Wanderers match, also sat out. He turned his ankle on Sunday and required rest but Pakistan's team manager Naved Cheema confirmed to ESPNcricinfo that Jamshed is available for selection for the second Test. Azhar Ali remains a concern and managed only 11 and 12 in the practice encounter. He may be the one to make way for Farhat, should Pakistan decide to go that way.

Misbah-ul-Haq retired overnight on 44, perhaps feeling he had made the necessary adjustments for the conditions while Asad Shafiq, who was on 21, went on to get 45. Sarfraz Ahmed did not spend much time in the middle, 16 minutes to be exact and the Pakistanis declared with a lead of 20.

Their bowling attack continued to trouble the Emerging Cape Cobras. Only three batsmen managed to get into double figures and they lost their last seven wickets for 14 runs. Tanvir Ahmed was much improved from the first innings and took 2 for 18 in five overs. But it was Irfan who was impossible to ignore. He finished the match with seven scalps and conceded only 40 runs.

Ehsan Adil also enjoyed a good return with the spinners, Saeed Ajmal and Abdur Rehman, taking three wickets between them for seven runs.

The Pakistanis needed just 59 runs to win and promoted Younis up the order to give him time against the new ball and to find form. He obliged and, with Farhat, took the Pakistanis to the victory total.

With time still left, they asked to bat on and were granted their request. Younis went on to make a classy 74 and took on the bowlers in the latter part of his innings. Given the value of his experience, Pakistan's management will be pleased that he found his feet in South Africa. The second Test starts on Thursday at Newlands and Pakistan must win to square the series.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on February 13, 2013, 6:00 GMT

    i donno why pakistan keep taking azhar ali all the time when its very obvious that he cant bat at all, i just simply hate that dude as a batsman... smh!

  • asad on February 12, 2013, 21:19 GMT

    I think Pakistan should open with 2 left handers and shift hafeez down also they should keep Younis khan because he batted good. They should drop Rahat to bring in Mohammad Irfan and also keep Saed Ajmal because this place will have some help for spinners. Maybe they should even drop Umar Gul for Abdur Rehman if they think they need two spinners. The rest of the team should be kept the same because they have recently faced SA and SA will probably not make any changes to their winning team.

  • RankPace on February 12, 2013, 19:20 GMT

    @ uzairamir :. I agree with you & many other commnents here. From the stats it is clear that he is a T20 bowler. With a bwoling average of 33.53 he is not fit to play test cricket , let alone lead the attack. Also in the ODI's he averages 27.94 and eco 5.07. these are very poor numbers. If you compare Gul wth Juaid's figs it will be clear that the young Junaid is miles ahead of Gul. If more younsters would have been given chances then they also would have gone ahead of him & by now Gul would have been out of the team.


  • RankPace on February 12, 2013, 19:10 GMT

    @ Faisal Bajwa :

    M.Irfan Stats --> http://www.espncricinfo.com/south-africa-v-pakistan-2013/content/current/player/429981.html

    From where do you get your stats. Now M.Irfan's age is 30 years. Ten years ago he was not into serious cricket. Then he was playing street cricket. PCB send him as replacement for some players for the England series in 2010. Due to the sudden call, lack of preparation & no time for acclamatization he broke down in both the matches. His speed was 132-135 kmph. But I must admit that then also I was impressed with him. Since then he started believing in himself and has improved big time. The package that you see now was incomplete (work in progress) a few years ago.


  • Dummy4 on February 12, 2013, 18:20 GMT

    Muhammad Irfan should have played 10 years ago (he is 33). Why he was dropped?? None of these players deserves to be in the team. Misbah, Asad Shafiq, Umar Gul, Asad Ali, Younas Khan or Imran Farhat. Why not pick a new side that are not scared of bouncers and can ball?

  • uzair on February 12, 2013, 16:30 GMT

    pcb has to take tough measures and replace umar gul he is of no more use and is there in the team for 2 years without performing good

  • Kamran on February 12, 2013, 15:32 GMT

    While everyone is focused on batting, I think Pakistan bowling did not do well either in first test. Definitely bringing Irfan on bouncy pitches is a reasonable move ( I am surprised why he was left out in the first place. South Africa's weakness is spin and bringing Abul Rahman in place of Gul is worth while. As far as batting is concerned its worth trying newer guys in place of Younis/ Azhar. They will continue to have problems against SA bowling line up as they let SA bowlers to dominate them. Faisal/Farhat are worth trying in remaining two games due to their better domestic cricket form.

  • Cricket on February 12, 2013, 14:43 GMT

    I agree with some comments here that if they want to cross 300 mark they should play against some school team.

    Also Pakistan feilded well in the 1st test. I hope they continue to field well, this will give their bowlers some chance of remaining in the game.


  • Cricket on February 12, 2013, 14:41 GMT

    Before the start of the series even I had started getting the impression that this batting line-up was better than the one that went to England in 2010. Back then out of the eight innings that they played atleast on four occasions they were bowled out under 100. (70's & 80's). This time in the 1st innings they were bowled out for 49. The semi-solidity of the batting line up was restricted to flat wickets only.

    The bowling was ok in the first innings. Getting bowled out for 250 , was something that even the proteas would not have expected in their own backyard. Now if they just add Irfan to the bowling lineup, the bowling will only improve with some agression from Junaid and Irfan. I dont expect much from Gul. Though Ajmal can show his magic in the second innings if the match goes to the 4th & 5th day, though i find it improbable.


  • Nasser on February 12, 2013, 13:46 GMT

    May be Pakistan play a South African school team next time. This will help them to score 300+ in an innings - hopefully! This match was a non-event, except it showed AGAIN how incompetent our batting is, even against players who do not play first class cricket.