South Africa v Pakistan, 2nd Test, Cape Town, 1st day

Younis and Shafiq lead recovery

The Report by Siddarth Ravindran

February 14, 2013

Comments: 180 | Text size: A | A

Pakistan 253 for 5 (Shafiq 111*, Younis 111) v South Africa
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details


Younis Khan drives on his way to a half-century, South Africa v Pakistan, 2nd Test, Cape Town, 1st day, February 14, 2013
Younis Khan enhanced his reputation for scoring when it matters © Getty Images
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Pakistan cricket continues to confound. In the morning, South Africa's ruthless pack of quick bowlers ran through the opposition top order yet again and all the fears over Pakistan's brittle batting seemed to have come to pass. Younis Khan and Asad Shafiq, however, showed there was plenty of backbone in the batting by putting on Pakistan's biggest Test partnership against South Africa to even up the match on the first day in Cape Town.

Against the finest attack in the world, Younis enhanced his reputation of scoring runs when his team was in distress. The famous Younis smile was frequently on display, after particularly good deliveries - a Dale Steyn curler which beat him, a Morne Morkel bouncer which struck him on the body - and especially after completing his first Test hundred in a year.

Shafiq's century is likely to rank as the finest innings of his career so far. Initially, he wasn't in the best touch: there was a leading edge beyond mid-off, and there were several loose drives outside off which didn't connect, but he grew in confidence once the pitch started to lose its venom. After that he unveiled his strokes, uppercutting Jacques Kallis behind point for four and picking off the usually accurate Vernon Philander for two leg-side boundaries in an over.

What really allowed the Pakistan batsmen to break free was the introduction of the weak link in the South Africa attack, Robin Peterson. His job description, especially on day one, is to keep it tight while the quicks get a breather, but he couldn't quite play that role as he struggled to settle into a consistent line and length. There were far too many short balls early on and the pressure built up by the fast bowlers - who gave away only 14 runs in the first 12 overs after lunch - quickly evaporated as he gave away four boundaries in his first five overs.

Smart stats

  • The 219-run stand between Younis Khan and Asad Shafiq is Pakistan's first double-century partnership against South Africa. Younis features in each of the three top stands for Pakistan against South Africa.
  • The partnership is also the second-best for Pakistan's fifth wicket outside Asia, next only to the 258-run stand between Inzamam-ul-Haq and Saleem Malik in Wellington in 1994.
  • Younis' 111 is his first Test century in 13 innings in South Africa. His previous-highest was 68.
  • Shafiq's unbeaten 111 is his third Test century in 27 innings, and his highest score. It's also his first hundred outside the subcontinent.
  • It's only the fifth time in Test history that a pair has added more than 200 for the fifth wicket after the team's been four down for less than 50.

Pakistan's most dominant phase came after tea, when South Africa were waiting for the second new ball. There wasn't much reverse swing on offer, and South Africa rotated Kallis, Peterson and Dean Elgar to keep their main bowlers fresh. Younis opened out, hitting a couple of straight sixes and Shafiq launched a flighted delivery well over long-on and then crashed one behind backward point as 62 runs came in the final 10 overs with the old ball.

Both batsmen reached their century just before the new ball, and Pakistan had moved along to 238 for 4 after 80 overs. Then came a critical phase of play as South Africa's attack reverted to menacing. Steyn and Philander bowled several unplayable deliveries; Philander had the ball buzzing past the outside edge and Hot Spot saved Younis against Steyn in the first over with the second new ball. It was Hot Spot that provided the evidence to end Younis' innings two overs before stumps, though, as South Africa reviewed an lbw decision, only to find that Younis had edged the ball through to the keeper.

South Africa were just as threatening in the morning. Slicing through the opposition has become so common to them that when Philander took his first wicket of the day, he barely bothered to celebrate, merely completing his follow-through as though the batsman had left the ball alone. Even wicketkeeper AB de Villiers didn't belt out an appeal or jump for joy after taking a regulation catch, merely tossing the ball aside and jogging up to Philander to congratulate him.

Once again, the fast bowlers had the ball hooping around, the purists ooh-ing and aah-ing over the late movement and the batsmen flailing outside off. Midway through the session, Pakistan were down to 33 for 4, and any attempts to forget their record low of 49 all out in Johannesburg were pointless.

For the second Test in a row, South Africa captain Graeme Smith took the unconventional decision at the toss. After choosing to bat on a difficult track in Johannesburg, he opted to bowl on a Cape Town surface that was expected to ease out after the first hour. Towards lunch, it did settle down but, as Smith hoped, serious damage had already been done.

Philander started the procession with that celebration-free wicket of Nasir Jamshed, who flirted with one outside off without moving his feet. Steyn joined in with his usual away-cutters, one of which Mohammad Hafeez nicked to first slip. Morkel then had Azhar Ali wafting outside off, to give de Villiers another simple catch before he produced another of those patented rearing deliveries that Misbah-ul-Haq could only glove to short leg for a duck.

It all seemed one-way traffic, before Younis and Shafiq led the recovery with centuries that gave South Africa's bowlers increasingly rare sessions of frustration.

Siddarth Ravindran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by dontlikecricket on (February 15, 2013, 11:03 GMT)

I was not expecting PAK to score 338 runs on this wicket especially after Asad's early exit in the morning. Atleast PAK bowlers will have some runs to play with which is very rear occurance for them. It will be interesting to see how SA performs in their first inning, with a lot of quality batsmen in thier team SA should be able get some lead. I highly doubt that they will make 500 plus as some one mentioned. PAK bowling although not as strong as it use to be, still has plenty of variety to make life difficult for batsmen. Not sure how this test will go, mind you PAK can still be bowled out for less than 100 in their second innings so SA has advantage over PAK.

Posted by Smahuta on (February 15, 2013, 10:55 GMT)

@Waseem Ahmad /golfclap is that the best you can come up with? Good hitting by Pak lower order to take them to 338. Its unlikely to be enough, but at least the game may go the distance now. Interesting 2 sessions coming up now with day 2 and 3 being the best for batting. The deck seems to be flattening out quite nicely for batting now. If Pak cannot hit hard with the new ball they will be fielding for a long time.

Posted by AK47_pk on (February 15, 2013, 10:48 GMT)

Now a lead of 150 wud be nice nd wicket is starting to turn. Exiting times ahead for pak fans.

Posted by   on (February 15, 2013, 10:28 GMT)

I think this is the worst fielding unit SA ever had

Posted by Harmony_not_Discord on (February 15, 2013, 9:52 GMT)

Good to see some spirited batting by some Pakistani batsmen and now from the lower order as well against the best bowling attack.

I bet [Dis]Harmony111 is so disappointed that he has stopped watching cricket.

Posted by   on (February 15, 2013, 9:26 GMT)

Why is no one talking about Nelson?

Posted by Smahuta on (February 15, 2013, 9:14 GMT)

@Tripswitch dont wory about it, thts what life is like at the top, everybody else tries to pull you down. The naysayers are annoyed that their teams dont come close in quality so they try to pick holes in everything that is not perfect in the SA team. Sit back and enjoy the carnage with a smile and a beer. Chin Chin.

Posted by Smahuta on (February 15, 2013, 9:03 GMT)

and another 5 fer for Big Vern. 268 for 8. Pak crumbling here just as I predicted last night. Blah blah blah cant bowl with the old ball, you should be felling good about that as you can actually score more than 50 for a change. ALthoguh its not looking likeley to get more than 50 this morning .

Posted by Smahuta on (February 15, 2013, 8:52 GMT)

Pak cannot play the new ball yet again. 2 down in 2 overs. Angling bats to the slips, thanks for the catching practice lads. lucky to get to 300 now. SA will come and score 500 +, a lead of 250, game over by the end of day 4.

Posted by Prabhash1985 on (February 15, 2013, 8:31 GMT)

If you rank the teams of their unpredictability, and the bounce back factor, you would find Pakistan at the top of the list... Great come back... Glad to see...

Posted by wakaPAK on (February 15, 2013, 8:28 GMT)

It was just day 1. SA's talent is not just the bowling; they have the best batting in the world; so if Pakistan goes on to make 350 and above, I'd say, it is most likely goig for a draw than a win for Pakistan unless Tanvir and Irfan do not surprise the Saffers.

Posted by Tripswitch on (February 15, 2013, 8:24 GMT)

We have become victims of our own success. Because we were unable to take further wickets once Younis and Shafiq had settled in this automatically translates into our bowling attack being one dimensional - give me a break! Both batsman played very fine innings yesterday and to start talking down our bowling does both batsmen a great disservice.

Granted Robbie P did not perform as well as we would have liked but for goodness sake wait for both sides to have a turn at bowling before commenting - remember this pitch is not giving the bowlers much to work with.

Posted by Grav1ty on (February 15, 2013, 8:22 GMT)

A bowling team needs a lot to go their way for a team to go all out for under 50. As seen yesterday, batsmen played and missed ball after ball. They could have easily got an edge and the score could have been another <100 total. (But the same could be said of SA's batting innings at the wanderers)

I'm hoping for a 5th day finish in a high pressure match. Maybe this is it!

Posted by StarsnStumps on (February 15, 2013, 7:57 GMT)

@Fast_Track_Bully yup you're right i think they shud just forfeit the match they've got no chance, its not like they recently beat a then no.1 ranked team after a sub 100 score in the first innings: the first such instance in a century. This is a fighting team now they have a score they can bowl at. Let's just see what happens its not as hopeless as you think this will be a good match

Posted by OceanSaffa on (February 15, 2013, 7:48 GMT)

To a lot of people who dont seem 2 understand SA pitches let me tel u: New ball in SA is key, when u survive it, the pitch evens out. 1st test SA vs Eng, day 1 : eng 273/3, what happend on day 2 and 3? Please people lets not be quick to assume that SA quicks only rely on new ball. This is how is being like this in SA.

Posted by mthi4life on (February 15, 2013, 7:47 GMT)

Ajmal is the only person that can make Pakistan win,As a Proteas fan I glad Pakistan are going to give five days of Test cricket.But with a score on the board Pakistan have a real chance of causing an upset which would be good for Test cricket as a whole.

Posted by Sir.Ivor on (February 15, 2013, 7:32 GMT)

RandyOz South Africa's bowlers were neutralised by Australia's curators in the first 2 tests. The hype of the South African pace attack before the tour had probably got to them. They are very aware of their responsibilities. Later,when they started believing that Australia could actually compete against the Saffas. they brought out a sporting one in Perth when the world saw what happened to Australia. They were destroyed as we saw and normal services were restored. South Africa is good. Let us accept that. So far Pakistan have done reasonably well. Let us wait and watch the drama that will unfold from here on.

Posted by majawaid on (February 15, 2013, 7:06 GMT)

Pakistan needs to survive the first session of day two adding some 60-75 runs and they are through!

Posted by Fast_Track_Bully on (February 15, 2013, 7:04 GMT)

Funny to see Pak fans dreaming about win in this test based on two individual innings...hello, wake up and look at the scorecard. Your condition is still too bad. No hope at all.

Posted by   on (February 15, 2013, 7:03 GMT)

one think i noticed that This SA Attack Called the best attack in the world but styne/morkal/philender/kallis are productive only with new ball and on a supporting pitch...great bowlers like wasim/waqar/mcgrath didnot depend on thee things they were as dengerous with old ball as a new one...styne failed to pick wkts on dusty pitch and with old ball..

Posted by wakaPAK on (February 15, 2013, 6:50 GMT)

SA: Achilles with TWO heels... no spin and maybe ...over reliance on new ball; will probably be the best for next 3 years. The best batting in the world and known for producing good all-rounders. Eng: The most balanced team who could challenge SA. Always stick to the old guns and new players have to work hard to get into the playing 11. Aus: The best talent without experience, spin and a WK Batsman with probably the best fast bowling options in the world. Pak: Always a better bowling side and always struggle with the bat. Tends to give surprises and some people hate surprises. Always walking on a tight rope with glory on one side and humiliation on the other. Ind: The 'opposite' of Pakistan and after losing their star batsmen going through a rough patch but the bowling they have one wonders how can they win a test yet they do. SL: A small but one of the most talented, innovative and fighting countries in cricketing world; another country with balance in all departments. can do better!

Posted by   on (February 15, 2013, 6:31 GMT)

Good recovery after another disastrous start.

Posted by daager on (February 15, 2013, 6:28 GMT)

Well played Pakistan. Younis is a great player, and Shafiq looks a real talent. I hope we can bundle you guys out for less than 350 today and knock up a big score, I think our top order will get through the new ball with less than 4 wickets down (hopefully!)

Posted by StarsnStumps on (February 15, 2013, 6:24 GMT)

Finally the Pakistani batting line up shows it possess a back bone and yes i know SA have great batsmen and can score quickly but at least our bowlers have something to bowl at now and we have won matches in the recent past with far worse scores. I see Ajmal playing a major role in SA's first innings even though there isnt much turn, if he can get a few wickets Pak are in with a chance.

Posted by   on (February 15, 2013, 6:23 GMT)

Wait till both teams have batted, Pakistan fans do have reason to be excited cause their team has shown some resistance much better than the 1st test. This is Kallis and Smith`s homeground so lets see if they can each get a ton. The Pakistani tail will be exposed soon so lets hault the premature celebrations. Loving the test though I wish I were at Newlands.

Posted by www.cricketforever.net on (February 15, 2013, 6:20 GMT)

Pakistan's middle order batsmen showed some real mettle and adapted rather quickly. Good to see them fighting. It has been quite a while since we witnessed a 5 day test in SA. Hope Pakistan will fulfill our wish. Time to see what Steyn and co can do with the new ball tomorrow morning.

Posted by   on (February 15, 2013, 6:19 GMT)

Pakistan needs to put 400 on the board or they will struggle. This Newlands pitch is good for 500 even when there's proper juice in it. Flat as it is, South Africa will be aiming for 600. Definitely, anything under 450 will be disappointing for a second innings score.

Posted by Simoc on (February 15, 2013, 6:04 GMT)

It's great that Pakistan have started (unfortunately one test late) performing as expected. My rule of thumb is 350 is break even and more is bonus (potentially winning runs). So two great batters innings but still a long way to go. The slow scoring is a negative for any test. Winning teams score more quickly.

Posted by   on (February 15, 2013, 5:59 GMT)

"One thing which I like with this team of PAk is that when u think they r totally out tracked they suddenly surprise u with a surprising bounce back.I won't say tht this match is over but still a very fighting performance and for.Younus it is certainly a career saviour ing..But from core of my heart I want to see a ton from this man what a gentleman he is in this aggressive era of ckt!"Best of luck for Pak!"

Posted by   on (February 15, 2013, 5:48 GMT)

@zifan hai Hahahahahaaaa just one decent day out there and you are on cloud nine. Amla, Devilliers, Kallis all are in top 10 test batsman for a very long time and pakisatn attack is not as great as SA.

Posted by patriotpakistani on (February 15, 2013, 5:46 GMT)

sa willl thrash pakistan bcz pakistanis are proud and very much over confident

Posted by   on (February 15, 2013, 5:39 GMT)

If this pitch produce some turn on day 4-5 than it will be a big test for proteas to survive against firey Ajmal and Angler Professor (Hafeez) as they have already done the damage in first test . . .

Posted by   on (February 15, 2013, 5:32 GMT)

2nd day will decide the possible outcome of the match... its still premature to predict...

Posted by   on (February 15, 2013, 5:30 GMT)

Outstanding performance by the quickers of SA . . . but day 1 has been stolen by YK and AS . . . I completely agreed with RaadQ . . . It was also mentioned in the straigth drive by Johnty Rohdes that Key is Shafiq . . . If Pakistan will post 350 or + it will going to be a good & close match.

Posted by   on (February 15, 2013, 5:30 GMT)

I think mohammed irfan will take wickets because the pitch is very good for bouncers and fast bowls

Posted by umairasgharbutt on (February 15, 2013, 5:20 GMT)

put 300+ on board and get them in !!

Posted by   on (February 15, 2013, 5:08 GMT)

This match can have two results. Given the quality of the Pakistan bowling attack, only a draw or Pakistan win is possible. SA is almost out of this match. Even a 270 will be a big score for SA and they will have to bat in the 4th innings. SA better prepare for the 3rd test.

Posted by Imran_Master_Bharuch on (February 15, 2013, 5:03 GMT)

Both younis & Asad played really well but others need to adapt to the situation quickly , otherwise it will be a one way traffic...

Posted by   on (February 15, 2013, 4:52 GMT)

People clearly have short time memory problem. One "not a decent day" for saf and they are reaching all kinds of conclusion too early again.

Posted by Greatest_Game on (February 15, 2013, 4:49 GMT)

@ TheBigBoodha on (February 14, 2013, 18:19 GMT) You are confusing ruthless with toothless, which is the best description of the current Oz test team, which lost back to back series - at home - to South Africa. SA won, Aus lost. QED

Posted by subbass on (February 15, 2013, 4:07 GMT)

The mathc is even and if PAK get 400 then SA will get 450-500 probably so making the draw very likely. But good fightback from PAK, much as SA are a very good side they are not unbeatable so you have to give pak a solid outside chance. But they must be careful not to lose 2-3 quick wickets tomorrow and get bowled out for 285-90.

Posted by Fijicricket on (February 15, 2013, 3:56 GMT)

Clearly South Africa took the foot off the pedal once 4 wickets fell to lengthen the game once again. Its like a boxer who can knock out his opponent when he wants to but toys around so paying public feel money well spent. Yet another nail in the coffin for test cricket.

Posted by getsetgopk on (February 15, 2013, 3:33 GMT)

So all the worlds best bowling attack in their pristine home conditions where the ball swings more than shane warne can turn on a turning pitch is 5 wickets after bowling 90 overs? Funny, didn't see any 49 jokes either. Guess Pak is ranked 4th for a reason. I was actually amazed to see how Petersen bowled. The dude can't get his basic line and length right. How can he be SA's best spinner. The number of halfvolies and short balls he bowled to shafiq is simply not test standard. Anyways, Pak is not out of the woods yet, they'll need to keep batting with the same intensity if they want any realistic chance of winning. All the best!

Posted by badmaash on (February 15, 2013, 3:31 GMT)

Gotta love Younis Khan - smiling his way through adversity and sledging to a century! That's true sportsman spirit.

Posted by maf17 on (February 15, 2013, 3:24 GMT)

South Africa continues to struggle with the old ball. They cant be considered among the great sides unless they can cope with teams getting to 4-150, because after that they're all at sea. Peterson is not up to scratch, Elgar is useless against seasoned players of spin and Kallis who used to be a decent old ball bowler is clearly showing the effects of age. They need a quality spinner and for one of theri pace bowlers to step up and take responsibility once the shine goes off. Otherwise they'll always be found to be just short of the great sides of the past.

Posted by a-khan74 on (February 15, 2013, 1:54 GMT)

very nice,wht a great comeback by junior/senior combination.Asad improving a lot with Khan experience at the crease.top order batsmen hafeez,jamshed and particularly azhar need to focus and show their class.still there is a lot of hard work to be done.don't 4get u are facing the best team of the world.the team who can change the game in a glance.keep it up ,go geen and don't give it up.

Posted by   on (February 15, 2013, 0:45 GMT)

So glad Younis Khan proved me wrong day. He is a quality player and when in top form is Pakistans best batsman.Was also a Better performance from Pakistan with the bat thanks to Younis Khan and Shafiq but I think Pakistan may need to think about a reshuffle of the top order for the next test series.

Pakistan may consider this batting line up for the next series...

Taufeeq Umar Jamshed Hafeez Younis Khan Misbah-Ul-Haq(c) Shafiq Adnan Akmal (wkt)/Safraz Ahmed Gul Junaid Khan Saeed Ajmal Mohammed Irfan

Posted by aa61761 on (February 15, 2013, 0:43 GMT)

If Shafiq and Sarfaraz negotiate the first 10 overs of the morning then Pakistan is in for a huge total. A ball gets older SA bowlers lose their teeth and Pakistan will be able to score freely. Double ton from Shafiq is a possibility. South Africa has to bat last on this wicket and Ajmal will become a big problem on 5th day. Pakistan can win or loose the game in first few overs of tomorrow morning.

Posted by Meety on (February 15, 2013, 0:41 GMT)

Top effort from 4/33 by Pakistan. Need to get close to 350, to put some pressure on SA & really give their bowlers something to defend. Promising performance, but to beat SA, you need to edge out every day, 3 or 4 to go!

Posted by t20cric on (February 15, 2013, 0:17 GMT)

I think Pakistan exposed the weak point in SA's bowling which is the old ball and their spinner. Pakistan can always score runs off of those two. For the people criticizing hafeez he is not performing well now but he still probably has three more chances in tests against SA to prove you guys wrong. He is a great player in ODIs and is the captain in T20s so don't underestimate him. Also if he is not performing with the bat then don't forget what he did to SA batsmen in the first test with the ball.

Posted by jb633 on (February 15, 2013, 0:07 GMT)

It has been a great comeback by Younis and Shafiq but 400 looks par on this deck if you ask me. If Pak can get to 380 it would set the game up perfectly as we will see how the Saffas play Ajmal with runs on the board. It must be said that Robin Peterson is cannon fodder. Don't get me wrong the SA attack is a good one but to compare them with the greats is rubbish. Peterson does not turn the ball a jot, lacks control, bowls from a low arm so does not get bounce. It will be fascinating to see SA in the UAE. I hope that Pakistan produce the rank turners like they did against England and they will be 100 % favourites. With Rehman and Ajmal on a crumbling deck any batsmen will struggle massivley. In the UAE against England the Pak batsmen struggled against Panesar and to a lesser extent Swann. With no good spinners to hand SA may struggle massivley to be effective. That will be the test of how good they are. I am backing Pakistan in that series all the way.

Posted by noplay on (February 14, 2013, 23:15 GMT)

I think Pak fans should see the contributions by Younis and Asad for what they are. A great deal of application, some luck and they have given the team a lifeline. Hopefully the team will recognise that it would not take much to get into the tail with SA having the best of the wicket to bat on days two and three. To do otherwise would be a faulty assessment of the situation- such as Pak on top, SA bowlers ordinary after the new ball etc. They may have bowled a few bad balls but at no point were they ordinary. We just have to remember the second innings of the first test. It did not take long for them to turn up a second time. Looking forward to great cricket

Posted by shot274 on (February 14, 2013, 22:58 GMT)

On wickets that are not seaming and bouncing SA will run into problems. Superb pacers but too unidirectional for the no.1 team in the world. I think England have the most balanced attack in world cricket-not necessarily the best. SA in the subcontinent will be given dustbowls to play on-and why not! Im a bit sick of the criticism of pitches in India and the UAE which are low and spinning when i see wickets at Joberg and Capetown spitting like a cobra for the quickies!

Posted by Syed_imran_abbas on (February 14, 2013, 22:40 GMT)

what is wrong with Nasir Jmashed and hafeez? they need to play their natural game which is being slightly aggresive. Azhar ali is making me miss umer akmal. we needed a bit brave player like him in middle order. very well played by Younas the master class and asad shafeeq. junaid will be missed in game. Pakistan definatly should have more practice games before series. A big advise for PCB for next time when they visit in different conditions. I hope sarfaraz makes some runs tomorow. Good luck boys.

Posted by Cricket-geek on (February 14, 2013, 22:38 GMT)

New ball is in hand and Asad is out there without Younis guiding him I dont think 300 is achievable but keeping my fingers crossed Pak batsmen making one good thing, making SAFERS tired coz they had to bowl long spells, this will help in both this match and the next one ;)

Posted by   on (February 14, 2013, 22:33 GMT)

Today again proved that even south african attack needs helpful conditions to fire.... if pakistan score 350 they can put pressure on saf and then the real test will begin...

Posted by Cricket_theBestGame on (February 14, 2013, 22:27 GMT)

this proves one thing for sure...SA bowlers are only as good as the new ball. once the new ball goes they are as mediocre as rest of the worlds bowler! for a worlds no bowling attack to lose its venom after new ball is gone and then wait for the 2nd new ball shows alot of their craft! bowling truly greats like the mcgrath, marshal, ambrose, wasim, waqar, kapil, hadlee, botham etc..all of them didn't just rely on shine of the ball. they had mastered their craft and had more than one arrow in their bow!

SA won in aust purly due to their batting not their bowling. so i'm not convinced SA bowling attack is the best in the world

Posted by PAKCOP on (February 14, 2013, 22:08 GMT)

A good bowler is who can take wickets with new and as well as old ball. SA so called Greats are useless with Old ball and especially Terrible at Subcontinents pitches. Saqlain, Ambrose, Mcgrath, Wasim, Waqar... they were good in all conditions, with new and old ball.

Posted by punter-gilly-haydos-mcgrath-warne on (February 14, 2013, 22:06 GMT)

To add to what many have written about that after the new ball the SA attack is not so dangerous and that is why they are the best team now but not quite the greats that others were at their peak. I would like to add a few points. 1.They are desperately missing a good spinner like a Warne who not only hold up the opposition but was a lot of the time the leader in the attack.2.What happens to the team if the opposition gets through the new ball doesn't look good they are missing something. The Windies of the 80s and the Aussies of the 2000s were always dangerous and weren't just stalling for the new ball.3.SA need to back up there reserves. The Aussies had MaGill and Bichel, batsmen like Hussey who had to work hard until he got into the squad, waiting in the wings. I don't see the SA with that and I see Kallis who is a main knob in the whole machine retiring soon which will weaken the SA significantly and they won't be able to rule long enough to be considered one of the greatest teams.

Posted by Desihungama on (February 14, 2013, 22:03 GMT)

Here it goes again Pak reinforcing their unpredictability claim to fame. They've put themselves in a position where they can try a thing or two to see a result. Which is, Pak batsmen need to drag their innings as long as possible to ensure SA bats on the 5th day and THAT just may be the only shot Pak has to beat SA which is unleashing world class spinners on a crumbling 5th day pitch.

Posted by likeintcricket on (February 14, 2013, 22:02 GMT)

I have not seen Tanvir before but If he is like Umer Gul than it is a bad decision. Rehman is a world class spinner and a match winner on fourth inning pitch. Misbah's team picking is really questionable. Azhar is a world class batsman but he is really struggling with the new ball. I regard him as a lot better batsman than Hafiz in the Test. He should either be sent lower down or should be drop. Hafiz has never been a good player of swing bowling but he could be good against OLD ball and should be sent lower down.Any one of them should make way for Farhat. Tomorrow if these players stay their for 15 more overs than they can post some decent score. But I would love to see SA playing Rehman and Ajmal in the fourth inning.

Posted by zee_humble on (February 14, 2013, 21:52 GMT)

after a strumbling start it was a nice partenership...i think 350 will be a healthy total on this pitch.... we pray that the pitch will start turning and help saeed ajmal..

Posted by Baseball-Sucks on (February 14, 2013, 21:45 GMT)

Pakistan did one heck of a recovery today. But it was very unfortunate that Younis Khan couldn't last a few more overs till the end. Asad Shafiq is well set but the other end looks like an easy prey for Steyn n Philander. They will bring down the wrath of god upon 'em tomorrow morning with the new ball. Sarfraz Ahmed barely managed to get thru last couple of deliveries. If Asad Shafiq plays sensibly by keeping the strike n scoring runs, they may reach a competitive total. Otherwise it will all be over during the 1st session.

Posted by david44 on (February 14, 2013, 21:35 GMT)

well played, Pakistan needs to put score over 300 if they want to survive i want to Pakistan to win but that's not gonna be easy they say day 2 and 3 are the best batting day's on this pitch plus king khalis has scored 5 century's out of 7 last outings on this pitch so that's make sense why smith have choosen to bowel first to get Pak out cheaply then score big runs and again put Pak batting under pressure so day 2 is gonna be v important for Pakistan batting and bowling got to put up a world class show against a world class team so my dear Pak friends don't get excited there is lot of cricket yet to be played good luck team Pakistan.

Posted by Stark62 on (February 14, 2013, 21:23 GMT)

WOW!!

SA's pace attack looked very ordinary, once the ball had lost its shine and the spin dept. looks below average.

They'll be touring the UAE later this year and you have to ask the question, who will they drop, Morne or Philander? Will they even play two spinners?

Posted by   on (February 14, 2013, 21:12 GMT)

loving this series... love this team Pak.. They always have some tricks hidden up their sleeve... Younis he is such and under rated player all over.. i would put my money on him any given dayy.. and i was so happy that Asad was accompanying him at the creasee.. these 2 build up same sort of partnership in bagladesh in a test match if i am not mistaken a while ago where younis got a double and asad made a centuryy..

It was really disappointing what Azhar and Jamshed did today.. It surely is a learning curve for them and they are much better batsmen than the show they put up today.. they need to adjust sooner cuz chances like these wont come by daily.. m sure Dav would have told them the same thing..

As for day 2 if Asad can guide Sarfaraz (who is due to make a solid mark) to build up a partnership with him and take the score to 320 - 350+ then we will be in for a cracker of a match.. all the best to team Pakistan... Show the Light Green SA what a Darker more Solid Green is al about...

Posted by USAeed on (February 14, 2013, 21:12 GMT)

Question for ESPN Cricinfo: Can you please clarify the rule on umpire decision challenge? If the bowling team asked for LBW and that was denied by on field umpire but after the review, does the umpire has the authority to declare a batsman out as caught behind? If this is allowed, than does the umpire has the authority to declare a batsman out without an inquiry by the fielding side as well? To me, there is not a lot of difference between the two...

Posted by peercricket on (February 14, 2013, 21:08 GMT)

Asad shafiq the way his career is progressing he is going to be a no one test batsman among younger players in Pakistan. His career and performance is gradually improving series by series and specially his 2nd inning record is better than his Ist inning which is the special thing. Today his knock undoubtedly be one of his better inning but to prove that he is a world class player he must have to lead Pakistan toward a safer score around 400 plus.

Posted by dontlikecricket on (February 14, 2013, 21:05 GMT)

Younis shows once again that he is a class player. Asad has a great temperament as he has shown so far in his short carrer. I think SA will bowl PAK out within first session as bowl is only 10 overs old and they are best with the new ball. If Asad bats through first session than a target of around 300 is possible. I think PAK fans are getting too excited far too early and there is a long way to go in this test. A little hope and faith in team is good but I cant believe some are already predicting a PAK victory!! Thats crazy and shows immaurity and lack of cricket understanding. Let us hope that wicket will break up a little on 4/5 day so spinners from PAK can make life for SA batsmen difficult.

Posted by pak78 on (February 14, 2013, 20:55 GMT)

wow what a come back by pakistan well batted yunis and asad after the usual collapse at least now pak bowlers have somthing to bowl at and put pressure on saf batters i say 345 all out anyting above that ell be a bonus game on test series is back live for pakistan after they were dead and burried in the first test and nearly first day of the second test go team green what an exiting day tommarow.

Posted by t20cric on (February 14, 2013, 20:54 GMT)

But in the next innings when Pakistan bat then Hafeez, Nasir, Azhar and Misbah must all make respectable scores of atleast 30 runs each to try and redeem their reputation, especially hafeez and azhar who have done nothing amazing with the bat for this whole tour.

Posted by   on (February 14, 2013, 20:52 GMT)

@Beertjie on (February 14, 2013, 18:09 GMT): yes mate. agree to you. SA really need a quality spinner. and how dangerous they can be if they have a quality spinner with these 3 pacers.

Posted by t20cric on (February 14, 2013, 20:50 GMT)

To get a good score from here Shafiq and Sarfaraz have to play very defensively like Shafiq and Younis did when reovering from 33/4. If Sarfaraz hopefully scores a 50 and the bowlers make 10-20 runs each and Shafiq survives to the end adding 40-50 runs then we will have about 400 runs. But Pakistan have to bowl well and Ajmal must prove he is a better spinner then Peterson. If Pakistan bowl in such a way that SA can not target an bowler then we can possibly win the match.

Posted by peercricket on (February 14, 2013, 20:49 GMT)

Well i said earlier that younis is a class act and he normally reply critics with his performance in the ground so he did the same but still Pakistan need more run on the board to challenge Proteus because they have a strong batting line up.if Pakistan manage to score 150 or 175 more than performance of Saeed ajmal would be crucial that might be effect seriously on the result of the match.

Posted by crashed on (February 14, 2013, 20:44 GMT)

A good session by Pakistan seems like they are learning. Every batsman can take a bad knock for the day and any batsman worthy of international playing can concentrate and perform on any given day. However the test is not over before the last ball is bowled. Till then well enjoy the test and lets see what is cooking there. I still say the Pakistan bowlers is in for a bad period...

Posted by 1992Forever on (February 14, 2013, 20:43 GMT)

Fantastic innings by YK and Asad. The phrase cornered tigers come to mind....I guess these two have given a clear blueprint for the rest to follow. Whilst acknowledging the SA bowling attack is menacing...it is nevertheless not unplayable... Pak boys can compete but the bowling needs to be top notch as well as the fielding. I only wished Rehman was playing in this match.....

Posted by Sports4Youth on (February 14, 2013, 20:41 GMT)

As usual the SA bowlers stuck to their plans. When the ball was new they were constantly at the wickets with a lot of seam & swing. When the ball was old and scoring became easy they stuck to very much outside the off stump from where it was difficult to chase the ball, thereby controlling the scoring.

Now when Pakistan come to bowl, it will be interesting to see what Umar Gul does. Normally he wasts the new ball by bowling short and wide, the batmen are happy to leave the ball while it gets older. The other two bowlers are new. But if they stick to bowling within the stumps & moving the ball then the game is on.

.

Posted by 1992Forever on (February 14, 2013, 20:37 GMT)

Fantastic innings by YK and Asad. The phrase cornered tigers come to mind....I guess these two have given a clear blueprint for the rest to follow. Whilst acknowledging the SA bowling attack is menacing...it is nevertheless not unplayable... Pak boys can compete but the bowling needs to be top notch as well as the fielding. I only wished Rehman was playing in this match.....

Posted by zee_humble on (February 14, 2013, 20:37 GMT)

I think we have to see the pitch it was not the pitch where we have lost 4 early wickets but still manage to reach 250...pak hace to add atleast 100 runs more to keep this match balance...the trump card for pak will be saeed ajmal on this pitch specially in the 4th innings..lets see how the things will be..it will be an interesting match...

Posted by   on (February 14, 2013, 20:36 GMT)

With this century, Younis has easily become the best ever batsman in Tests for Pakistan!

Posted by   on (February 14, 2013, 20:34 GMT)

great great innings by younis and asad....weldone

Posted by Sports4Youth on (February 14, 2013, 20:31 GMT)

@ BowledYa :

Rahat & Junaid are injured the only 3 fast men available (Except Ehsan who is too young) have been selected. On SA pitches it would not be wise to play two specialist spinnners plus Hafeez. Moreover, I do not have any complainst against Tanvir on Merits. Last time when Tanvir played against SA in the UAE, he bowled really well. But the conditions suited him on that day as it had rained, hopefull he will get help from this wicket as well. His experience should be usefull. He can move the ball like Vernon. Both Tanvir & A.Rehman provide solidity to the batting. But A.Rehman would not have got help on these SA pitches. Although Misbah could replace Ajmal with A.Rehman. But that is a bit difficult because Ajmal is the biggest star in Pak cricket. So all in all , this is the best that Misbah could come up with.

.

Posted by Always_pakistan on (February 14, 2013, 20:30 GMT)

Very well done pakistan team keep it up.

Posted by   on (February 14, 2013, 20:26 GMT)

Really enjoying this test so far. Much better than the first, although it looked pretty bad at 33-4. I wouldn't go as far as saying that South Africa can't bowl without the new ball but their spinners are pretty toothless. Robin Peterson had a bad time, but you must give credit to the brilliant batting of Younis and Shafiq. They made the bowling attack look ordinary at times.

Any total over 300 will give the bowlers a chance, although 350+ is preferable. Good luck to Pakistan for this test and the rest of the tour.

Posted by Sports4Youth on (February 14, 2013, 20:24 GMT)

Fianally a good fight back from a familiar situation. So Misbah was right that this team has always bounced back when required, though he himself failed to get off the mark. This time they also negotiated the 2nd new ball better than the 1st test. In the 1st match, 2nd innings the moment the new ball was taken both the set batsmen (Misbah & Shafiq) left in a hurry. Thereby exposing young Sarfraz and the rest of the tail to the fury of Styen Gun & co. This time Younis lost his wicket on the final ball of the 8th over. Now the new ball is 10 overs old. If they can see of anothe 5-10 overs in the morning then once again the fast bowlers will be tired & the intensity of the attack will subside. Then we can expect the score line to improve. This time the pitch & conditions are better. Also the addition of Tanvir should provide some venom in the tail. Had A.Rehman been included the tail would have been even stronger.

.

Posted by UK_Chap on (February 14, 2013, 20:16 GMT)

I do wish Pak fans would give it break with their predictions, please don`t talk nonsense. Martin Nosworthy you are spot on. Tripswitch : what are you talking about ?. I do appreciate Younis and Shafiq`s fantastic batting display, I was only highlighting South Africa` bowling weakness. SAF fans will also probably agree with me on this point. They got four wickets with the new ball, then between overs 18 and 80 they did not take another wicket. They immediately took the new ball when it became available, behold...... they took a wicket. Smahuta : what are you talking about.... SAF has dismissed teams cheaply but only playing at home and again with the new ball. Any team that can survive the new ball has a good chance against SAF. SAF do have a very good bowling attack, it`s just a bit one dimensional.

Posted by Riz000 on (February 14, 2013, 20:15 GMT)

Where are those angry pple who were asking for Younus Khan out of the team??? and whr r those Hafeez lovers?? hafeez is a big time flop and selfish guy i wish to god PCB for once realize this and get this guy out permanent i wld have included rehman instead of ajmal and if shafiq can play in Sa and this means this guy is 2nd mohmaad yousaf

Posted by   on (February 14, 2013, 20:07 GMT)

@ experts what the rule says about decision review , if the review was taken for lbw was it right to give out for caught behind ?

Posted by ali97 on (February 14, 2013, 20:04 GMT)

pak need a gud start, wait for da new ball to wear off bt considerin it is sarfaraz not younis at the other end, it might proove rather difficult.da dirst session wud crucial... we might hav a day of worth cricket on our hands.

Posted by   on (February 14, 2013, 20:03 GMT)

@BowledYa You will come to know soon why Tanver Ahmen, we are not playing in UAE but at Capetown even Ajmal is useless in these conditions. And Misbah is no more the Tuk Tuk CNG :D

Posted by haq33 on (February 14, 2013, 19:52 GMT)

Pakistan must reach 350 somehow. That is the only chance they have to actually win. One out of amla, kallis and de villiers is a guaranteed century but if we reach 350 I can see SA being all out for 260-270. If Pak don't make 350 SA will win.....guaranteed.

Posted by   on (February 14, 2013, 19:48 GMT)

Think Smith's decision to bowl is an odd one. Why bat last on a pitch that might deteriorate? If Pakistan carry on from here, SA will need a big score in the first innings. Got to hand it to Pakistan, 2 good knocks that could put pressure on SA. The series is hotting up.

Posted by Mohammad_Imran on (February 14, 2013, 19:28 GMT)

Fantastic fightback by Pak team... hope they can do some damage with the ball tomorrow although it hurts to not have Junaid Khan.. I think Abdur Rahman was unlucky to miss out, he is a very good bowler on any wicket & SA batsman would have struggled against him (like they struggled against Hafeez).

I think instead of everyone criticizing the SA bowling, Younis & Shafiq should also be praised for playing very intelligently, knowing when to attack & when to defend... unlucky though for Younis to lose his wicket just before stumps.

All the Best Pakistan!

Posted by vk6848 on (February 14, 2013, 19:21 GMT)

If a team challenges an LBW not-out decision, and there is an edge, is it counted as a wrong challenge? :-)

Posted by   on (February 14, 2013, 19:14 GMT)

Anything is better than 49, our team is sure teaching us to count our blessings. Our poor beleaguered bowlers already have many more runs to bowl at than they would have dared to hope for. A par score for Pakistan is anyway hugely discounted from a normal one, and it has probably already been achieved in this case. Whatever happens from here on in, this test series is cricket at its very best, despite us having been crushed at Johannesburg. Can't wait for day 2!

Posted by BowledYa on (February 14, 2013, 19:13 GMT)

@Naseer_shah . What a shame with that comment! You should be thankful to Misbah for the way he has led the team from the depths of the England fiasco and losing top 3 cricketers.He is respected internationally and recognized as a great captain and a solid batsman. He practically led the team in batting most of the past series. Who would you want as captain - Mr. I quit 3 times? Some Pak fans are the worst enemies of thier own team.

Posted by ImmadAzim on (February 14, 2013, 19:12 GMT)

Why did the broadcasters not show where Philander's foot landed on Younis's dismissal delivery, I think they hurriedly hushed it over, whereas they could have shown it more. I thought it needed more close scrutiny, it could have been a no-ball, if viewed more precisely, What do you all say?????

Posted by Shan156 on (February 14, 2013, 19:08 GMT)

@Abdul Shakoor Pathan, what? In their last tour to all countries, the only places Eng. have lost series were in WI and in the UAE. They drew in SA and SL and won in Ind, Aus., and NZ. How is that "zero" away from home. And, at home, they have lost only to SA who were/are a superior side. And, what did Pak. achieve away from home? They have been defeated in their last tours to Eng, SA, Ind, Aus, and SL, drew in WI, and won in NZ. How is that even equal to, leave alone better than, what Eng. have achieved away? Similarly, Aus. have lost away series only in Eng. and Ind. They have won in SL, NZ, WI, and drew in SA. Even Ind., save for their last 2 overseas tours, haven't done badly. Drew in SA and SL, won in NZ and WI. I am surprised that Pak. fans are belittling away performances of other countries when they have achieved so little.

Posted by tests_the_best on (February 14, 2013, 18:58 GMT)

I think Smith's captaincy wasn't the most inspiring about an hour or so before the second new ball. Pakistan knew with the new ball around, they had to score as much as possible resulting in Peterson leaking runs and being hit for sixes. He should have tried someone else, maybe Morkel for a while just to keep the run rate down and maybe have Pak 230 for 5 or even six by stumps. This lack of a Warne kind of spinner is also the reason why SA are the top side today but not quite one of the all-time great teams as some fans seem to suggest. There's simply no one to apply the pressure once the quicks are through with the new ball.

Posted by BowledYa on (February 14, 2013, 18:56 GMT)

I love Misbah but have one nagging question: why Tanvir? You should play to your strengths and Rehman is a match winning bowler, not Tanvir. Besides he is 34 years old so can't way we are giving him experience for future. Baffled!

Posted by drnaveed on (February 14, 2013, 18:55 GMT)

an excellent partnership between younis khan and asad shafiq. remaining Pakistani batsmen should try to add another 100 to 150 runs to the current score.than we will have a match in our hands.SA will be batting last on this pitch, who knows , we may have an upset as far as result of this match is concerned.

Posted by BravoBravo on (February 14, 2013, 18:52 GMT)

If PAK puts an score of 325-350, then it will be an interesting match. It is just first day, and is difficult to predict. Facts remains the same that this SA team is pretty strong, and winning became their habit. Good work by prolific Younis Khan and talented Asad Shafiq.

Posted by AK47_pk on (February 14, 2013, 18:49 GMT)

So they take wickets with only new ball hmmmmmm. They are avg bowlers once ball is about 20 overs old like we saw today nd 2nd imnings of pak in 1st match. No hope for sa bowlers where wicket isnt in their favour.

Posted by BokkeForever on (February 14, 2013, 18:45 GMT)

Really concerned about our bowlers once the shine and hardness wears off the new ball. Same thing happened in Australia. We had them 3 down for virtually nothing every innings only for their middle order to cash in once the ball got past the 20 over mark. Some comments posted here are spot on about this - SA bowlers need to improve in this area.

Posted by Naseer_shah on (February 14, 2013, 18:43 GMT)

Hurrah .. Misbah out for zero .. hopefully he couldn't score throughout will surely end his carrer

Posted by   on (February 14, 2013, 18:42 GMT)

to SHAN156 v r not saying that pak will win what we r saying is that pak will give SA run 4 their money v want to c good and fighting test cricket from pak and if they r able to beat SA that would b gr8... we r just hoping 4 a good fight from pak and this pak bowling unit is not wasim or waqar but they r very talented unit they just need to b more accurate....

Posted by   on (February 14, 2013, 18:42 GMT)

hopefully pakistan will score 100 runs more then this test will become very interesting..

Posted by Desihungama on (February 14, 2013, 18:36 GMT)

The Captain of the supposedly Best Bowling Attack was heard saying to his teammates. Common lads, new ball is only 10 overs away. They are best the Best Opening Attack and that's about it. I regard England and Pak as the best all around bowling attacks. Wasim and Waqar and James Anderosn would have ripped apart with late and revers swings.

Posted by Smahuta on (February 14, 2013, 18:34 GMT)

Funny to hear people dissing the SA attack now after two batsmen played well. Quickly forget the 3 teams bowled out for less than 50 in the last year? A feat no other attack has EVER accomplished before. We see who comes out on top after day 5!

Posted by Pak_alldway on (February 14, 2013, 18:34 GMT)

to all those who say proteas attack is outclass(they have taken 21 wkts with the new ball out of 25 in this series so far and 4 with the old ball and to get that 4 wkts they gave away more than 300 runs that sums up the whole story.)they dont know how to ball wen ball gets old.and philender will be big flop in sub continent

Posted by Gauhar1 on (February 14, 2013, 18:32 GMT)

So where are the disparaging comments of gsingh now?? It's easy to be critical when your "enemy" team has a bad match (joburg), but are you man enough to praise the brilliance of the Pakistani batting today? Well done Asad and King Younis. You have done us proud. But job is only 1/2 done. We need to score 350+ to really challenge SA.

Posted by arvind.Kejriwal.AAP_A_Better_INDIA_ on (February 14, 2013, 18:30 GMT)

@ WaqarIMC

Don't underestimate SA''s pace bowling attack. It is still World's best and capable of destroying any batting attack. Today's wicket was a bit on a slower side on which a good spinner was needed to put pressure on batsmen. But Peterson (a part-timer) failed to do so and leaked runs at an Econ. of 4.50. In nutshell, SA lacks a good spinner and that's where Younis and Asad capitalized.

Posted by JustIPL on (February 14, 2013, 18:30 GMT)

It is unufortunate to lose Younus end of the day but that is the beauty of technology fair enough for both teams. Without technology it would have been a doubt as obviously Younus was willing to go not out overnight and got out. It will be too early to call them the best attack of the world as England have some proven talent and almost whitewashed india at home lately and can destroy SA batting as well.

Posted by Skerpby on (February 14, 2013, 18:30 GMT)

At last we got a fight on our hands! I LOVE this great game. To all the SAFFA naysayers: it is a five day game. Criticizing the SA bowling attack on the first day is a bit presumptuous. Tomorrow is a new day and we are going to come out all guns blazing. Thought Pakistan batted extremely well but with Younus gone....? Let us see after Sa's innings how things are .

Posted by   on (February 14, 2013, 18:27 GMT)

And dont forget that this a team which did not play a single international game at home for last 5 years.All other teams are good at home but their performance is zero when they play away. Best example, England, Australia and India

Posted by   on (February 14, 2013, 18:23 GMT)

i think that the most important thing 4 pak will b to dismiss SA under 300 in the first innings then this game can b very intrusting... pakistan can have a good chance if they can match SA first inn total in their second innings and then it wont b easy 4 SA to chase 300 in the last inn it will b a test 4 them against the likes of ajmal and hafeez on this track if the match goes to the fifth day hoping 4 pak win but 4 tht they hv to bowl out SA twice which wont b easy looking forward 4 that....

Posted by TheBigBoodha on (February 14, 2013, 18:19 GMT)

Simply ruthless by the PAK middle order. :-) Not quite as ruthless as the way the of the Australian batsmen smashed Steyn and for the vast majority of the Australian tour, but impressive nonetheless. Can't believe the media overkill in SA every time they win against a liw ranking side, while very recent poor performances are completely forbidden to be mentioned.

Posted by Basit75 on (February 14, 2013, 18:18 GMT)

great partnership by Younus and Asad, need another 100 partnership fr0m current pair.

Posted by   on (February 14, 2013, 18:15 GMT)

most surprising and welldone younis and asad..

Posted by azurecharms on (February 14, 2013, 18:10 GMT)

300 will be good score by this Pak side. A 350-400 will put SA under pressure. Very good innings from Asad. He and Jamshed will improve day by day and with Umar Akmal, when he is back, along with Yunus's experience will make up a good opening and middle order line up. Hafeez and Azhar have been huge disappointment so far. This Azhar guy has to score some runs while he stays, he is mostly 63 balls, 125 minutes and 13 runs. Puts himslef in a shell and goes nowhere.

Posted by Beertjie on (February 14, 2013, 18:09 GMT)

@Khurram S Chaudhry, ex-Pakistani Imran Tahir is the best spinner in SA. The Aussies killed him and now Pakistan is perhaps doing the same to his successor! The recipe to defeat SA abroad is obvious now, isn't it. Good luck, Pakistan.

Posted by Omarrz on (February 14, 2013, 18:08 GMT)

These 2 and Tanvir and Gul should put another 120-150 runs atleast. Tanvir seems to be a decent tail ender, has 16 domestic fifities and a test fifty as well. People were advocating Rehman as he can bat a bit, but I think Tanvir is a better batsman. So guys make at least 400!

Posted by Shan156 on (February 14, 2013, 18:07 GMT)

@Mo Sdc Khan, "If anyone can beat SA in SA it's got to be Pakistan", unfortunately for you, past history doesn't suggest so. The only teams to have defeated SA in SA in a series since their re-entry are Australia (quite a few times) and England (once). Only a day has completed and already the Pak. fans are claiming victory. Wait till SA bat. This is a ground where SA have always been super strong. If it were Durban, you may well be right. And, it is not like Pak. have Wasim and Waqar in their bowling ranks.

Posted by ar.d. on (February 14, 2013, 18:07 GMT)

In my opinion, good call from Smith on both tosses with some local knowledge. At Wanderers, the wicket provided pace and swing throughout. And with deterioration and uneven bounce developing with wear and tear, his choice was wise not wanting to play last. Here at Newlands, with this particular wicket being a bit flatter, he will need enough time to take 20 wickets. With trying to take advantage of first session lively pitch and batting out on majority of days 2-3 (most favourable batting conditions), will give him enough time on some of day 4 and whole day 5 to bowl Pakistan out. I am not saying this is the only way, but it is the best option it seems.

Posted by creekeetman on (February 14, 2013, 18:03 GMT)

brilliant by younis and shafiq... great to see younis among the runs again, he is definitely one of test crickets finest.

Posted by WaqarIMC on (February 14, 2013, 17:59 GMT)

Who Says SA attack is most dangerous in the world ??? Who Says Dayl Styne is unstopable ??? Who Says Styne,Morkal,Phalndar is Equal to W.Indies of 80's.???

If you are one of them then Then Please watch today's fight of Asad & Younus.

Posted by Solid_Snake on (February 14, 2013, 17:58 GMT)

@Mo Sdk Khan->Agreed..There is no doubt about the ability of SA pacers but it is a fact that they are clueless with the Old ball..Steyn & Co is a horrible dream with the new ball.But they lose the rhythm after 10-20 overs.But it is always the great damage done in first few overs which takes the game away from opponents.If anyone manages to survive the first session,then the match gets balanced..

@Counterstrike->Our next Akram went to India to coach Indian Pacers :P

Posted by SaudFaruqi on (February 14, 2013, 17:53 GMT)

Saeed Ajmal will be a handful. Tanvir Ahmed has been in good bowling form in Pakistan's domestic matches. I say that Pakistan will win the 2nd test and loose the 3rd one.

Posted by Surajdon9 on (February 14, 2013, 17:50 GMT)

What a Great Fight Back was that.Congratulation Younus and asad.well played boys.still asad need to carry on.Come on Pakistan make it 350-400 come on ..

Posted by Zahidsaltin on (February 14, 2013, 17:45 GMT)

While prasing Younis and Asads efforts, don't forget to curse the inability of the top 3. The opners must find a way to play 20 overs otherwise you can not always rely on no. 5 & 6. Azhar Ali in first bad patch of his international cricket.

Posted by bumsonseats on (February 14, 2013, 17:42 GMT)

have we seen the last of imran tahir, they jumped the gun in getting him registered but so soon is he overlooked. the saffas been so ultra cautious as a cricketing nation as soon as he gets hit for 4+ an over their defensive nature clicks in. mind his selected spinning partner today seemed to go for plenty, but then he can bat also.

Posted by   on (February 14, 2013, 17:36 GMT)

I agree with some comments made on here that SA are clueless once the new ball has lost its shine, that was evident not only today but in the past against the same opposition. Remember the 109* from Abdul Razzaq and recently the onslaught by Umar Gul in the T20 W/C, both times they had Pakistan in a heap. SA are like a bad greyhound that starts off well but then the steam runs out after 25 overs. The SA spinner is as much use as chocolate fireguard and that showed in abundant today or they are just flappers.... Pakistan have to play with caution tomorrow and see off the first 10-15 overs and they can get a big score. I think a lot of guys on here are under estimating Sarfraz and he may just surprise them tomorrow. Even if Pakistan get 280-300, with their bowling nothing is impossible. Lastly how can I not mention Younis, what a champion and a gentleman, he was awesome and I'm not taking anything away from Asad....If anyone can beat SA in SA it's got to be Pakistan...

Posted by   on (February 14, 2013, 17:31 GMT)

Twin Centuries, on the first day, and that too after the usual disastrous start, that's great going, Pakistan. Keep up the good work and SA can be nailed in their own backyard. Why not. Best of luck!

Posted by   on (February 14, 2013, 17:31 GMT)

yes right, correct, agree with @ Shahat khan

Posted by Tripswitch on (February 14, 2013, 17:29 GMT)

@UK_Chap - a revealing mix of sour grapes and poor appreciation for a fine batting performance by both Younis and Asad - shame on you.

Posted by jibman on (February 14, 2013, 17:28 GMT)

This wicket seems like 400+ wicket. Pakistan should try to drag their inning to 350+. Because SA is playing in their home ground and they are quite capable of scoring 400+ runs. So far so good for Pakistan. Good display of controlled cricket by Younis and Shafiq. Steyn and company will try their best to get them cheaply tomorrow. It is up to the rest of player to make a match out of it. Wicket is behaving pretty good. No hint of spin so far. The experts are predicting that this wicket will take spin due to dry condition of the wicket. Let us see what the future hold for this Test Match.

Posted by   on (February 14, 2013, 17:25 GMT)

Pak, get to 350 and hope that pitch crumbles !!!

Posted by   on (February 14, 2013, 17:24 GMT)

excllent recoverey from both batsmen.i hope asad will continue resistance .if pakistam made 350-400 then should africans loss the match.this is my perdiction

Posted by   on (February 14, 2013, 17:20 GMT)

This match evenly balanced after day-1, Pak should look to score at a healthy rate of 3.0-3.5 and should target 350. As i highlighted earlier in my comments, it will be Pakistan's lower middle order who will have to score big as SA bowlers are too good for first 3/4 batsmen. Sarfraz will have to rove his worth in middle order. Pak should also look to surprise SA in the bowling, they can open the bowling with hafeez and irfan.

Posted by   on (February 14, 2013, 17:18 GMT)

33 for 4 to 252 for 5.......wonderful journey of recovery "under pressure" by Younas Khan and "little master" Asad Shafiq ....this 219 record partnership against South Africa put Pakistan in respectable position .......South Africa might be in trouble as they have to play 4th innings...and they will have to face Saeed Ajmal and Abdul Rehman......Asad Shafiq must carry on his great knock as his presence at wicket is very important to take score to 350 with tail enders.... Mueen ud din Hameed Toronto

Posted by Smahuta on (February 14, 2013, 17:17 GMT)

Best days for batting are 2 and 3. Pak need 500 plus to make this game safe. You win here in CT by batting once. Honors even on day one. Day 2 will be interesting. My money goes on SA blowing the last 5 away for less than 50 in the morning!

Posted by wakaPAK on (February 14, 2013, 17:16 GMT)

I think Pakistan was a bit too apprehensive before the first game and besides little practice this factor also contributed to their collapse. The reality is that SA bowler can be made to sweat like Aussies made them do. Paksitan batting is getting better with each inning.

Posted by   on (February 14, 2013, 17:15 GMT)

Good grief people, it's only the end of day one and many people are making firm predictions and outcomes of the game already. I appreciate ones patriotism but hey, slow down!! At 253/5 I think most would agree that the honours have been shared for the day. Pakistan would have liked to have over 300 runs on the board and SA would have probably wanted at least 7 wickets by now. Wait at least until both teams have batted their 1st innings before making wild predictions. The only thing Pakistan have achieved today is ensure that this match doesn't end with a SA victory on day three!! Other than that it's still anybody's game!!

Posted by UK_Chap on (February 14, 2013, 17:12 GMT)

As usual South Africa are a one trick pony..... waiting desperately for the new ball.

Posted by HabeebRaja786 on (February 14, 2013, 17:11 GMT)

Great to watch Pakistan fighting back.Very early to say which way this match will go.I think still SA is favourite.Hoping this match will go in 5th day and Saeed Ajmal playing a major role.

Posted by   on (February 14, 2013, 17:05 GMT)

Good show by the Pakistanis .

Posted by arvind.Kejriwal.AAP_A_Better_INDIA_ on (February 14, 2013, 17:03 GMT)

Really Good batting display by Younis and Asad on a track that was easier to bat as rightly pointed out by Shaun Pollock during the pitch report. I wonder why Greame Smith chose to bowl on a dead track (as per SA standards) that was good for batting.

Asad Shafiq is indeed a special talent. I like him. Always looks calm and focused just like Pujara. Many Pak fans were saying Jamshed is The Best Emerging Player but today we saw again how he failed against moving ball. He can score only on sub-continent flat pitches. Asad has better technique than him.

And what can be said about Younis Khan. He has been Pakistan's back-bone for years. But sometimes he loses his focus as we saw today that he got out on an ordinary delivery, probably that's why he will never considered as Great as Lara, Ponting, Dravid etc..

And where is Our 'Next Akram' - Juanid ? Is he really injured ? Or PCB thinks he is not good enough for SA quality batsmen ? Anyway, A good Day of Cricket. Looking frwrd to Day 2.

Posted by   on (February 14, 2013, 17:02 GMT)

this match going to be leveler my dear.....come on pak go and got them....

Posted by   on (February 14, 2013, 17:02 GMT)

Kudos to Younis and Shafiq for the fightback. This made me curious to see which batsmen from the subcontinent have done the best in Australia or South Africa, w.r.t. Test batting averages, and here's the result from Statguru (qualification: 500 runs scored in SA/Aus): http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/stats/index.html?class=1;filter=advanced;home_or_away=2;opposition=2;opposition=3;orderby=batting_average;qualmin1=500;qualval1=runs;team=25;team=6;team=7;team=8;template=results;type=batting

Only 10 batsmen average over 40. Sachin, with an average of 50.33, leads the current pack by some distance, joining Amarnath and Gavaskar as the only three subcontinental batsmen averaging 50+ in SA/ Aus. Sanga is 6th, VVS is 7th. Younis is actually at 11th, ahead of Pakistani greats like Miandad, Inzy, and Yousuf. Sehwag and Dravid are in the 13th and 14th spots, respectively.

Posted by manobilla on (February 14, 2013, 17:01 GMT)

As it usually happens after a long stable partnership, we'll crumble tomorrow. I hope we can reach beyond 325 and then there is some spin assistance on the pitch.

With Junaid out, I don't have much hope that we'll be able get SA cheaply unless there is spin assistance on the pitch. Maybe Pak should open bowling with Irfan and Hafeez and see if we can surprise SA.

Posted by   on (February 14, 2013, 17:01 GMT)

Last time i read a comment on day 1 of Wanders Test; wait till both teams bat on this wicket. Now Pak has to show her better side the BOWLING to complete the victory.

Posted by   on (February 14, 2013, 16:59 GMT)

Good Luck Pakistan, Pakistan has the potential to bounce back from any situation. (y)

Posted by   on (February 14, 2013, 16:58 GMT)

after today's performance i dont consider SA attack an outclass attack. they were all over from over no 55 to 80. they lacked reverse swing and a good spinner. so the only trick that they know is new ball swing on bouncy tracks, which means if any team sees off first 25 overs new ball SA will crumble....

Posted by neo-galactico on (February 14, 2013, 16:56 GMT)

I guess it's a grafting pitch after all. There were a couple plays and misses and edges that dropped short by Shafiq and Khan but kudos to them for impressive knocks. I'm quite chuffed to see the Proteas having to work hard for their wickets but I reckon the rest of the wickets will be swiped within the 1st session Pakistan's lower order isn't all that imposing. With SA struggling so much to take their wickets after the ball got older I reckon Pakistan will too and Jacques at Newlands is almost always a factor. Having said that, this pitch is closer to the subcontinent than @ the Wanderers. It already looks a good game hopefully we'll see Day 5 for a change.

Posted by Solid_Snake on (February 14, 2013, 16:54 GMT)

Younis & Shafiq..What a performance by both of them.I hope Shafiq continues like that & help Pakistan reach 300+..

Posted by GrindAR on (February 14, 2013, 16:53 GMT)

good contest from dude. all you need is show the resistance as much you can control your urge to flick. giving catch to keeper, slip cordon is the careless mistake a batter can do. the top 4 wickets gone in that cordon. so more discipline needed... show your best mental state folks, the score could have read with less number of wickets if you could get better of your urges.

Posted by   on (February 14, 2013, 16:47 GMT)

That's the spirit of Pak cricket... love it

Posted by dontlikecricket on (February 14, 2013, 16:45 GMT)

Very good batting by Younis and Asad. I was not expecting PAK to score more than 180/200 at the start of the day due to them playing on a first day wicket. I am not sure if PAK is going to make many more runs, however 253 is a decent score and atleast bowlers will have some runs to play with. With the new ball only 10 overs old, it will be very difficult for PAK to score runs on the second day morning. One thing I have noticed this series though, SA attack with the older ball has not been effective,but that's not really a huge problem as they can cause serious damage to batsmen in first 25/30 overs or so (on bouncy wickets). It will be interesting to see how SA bowling will perform agaisnt PAK in UAE. It may turn out to be a series draw (0-0) like 2010!!

Posted by RandyOZ on (February 14, 2013, 16:44 GMT)

Good work by Pakistan. After crushing England, South Africa were shown by Australia to be beatable. Pakistan have a chance.

Posted by Sinhaya on (February 14, 2013, 16:40 GMT)

Well played and a brilliant fightback indeed. Never expected to see such a fightback after reeling at 34 for 4. Hope this test will be exciting indeed. Pakistan better target 350 plus to put pressure on SA. If not, SA batting will be tough to be dislodged.

Posted by   on (February 14, 2013, 16:35 GMT)

That's why i'm say. drop umar akmal from test and ODI. give asad proper chance.

Posted by   on (February 14, 2013, 16:33 GMT)

now pak have to tackle the brilliance of Amla and AB-DevilliARS ..

Posted by   on (February 14, 2013, 16:31 GMT)

Asad Shafiq answers his critics with bat ... once again! Younis proves he is not a washout ... once again! Azhar Ali proves he can not handle bounce ... once again :(

Posted by tests_the_best on (February 14, 2013, 16:30 GMT)

Would be really surprised if SA win from here. It seems test series in SA are becoming too predictable in recent years. For 3 years in succession, Ind in 2010-2011, SL last year and now Pakistan, the visiting side gets thrashed in the first test only to bounce back in the 2nd one. If this one goes along expected lines as on evidence from first day, it should be a fairly comfortable victory for Pak. I expect Ajmal to play a big role this time around. I think what SA really miss is a good quality spinner, currently no one to apply pressure once the new ball wears off.

Posted by   on (February 14, 2013, 16:29 GMT)

lot more effort from shafiq/sarfraz & tail required to get past 300. Specially safraz ahmed. he looks like no11 in team. whereas adnan always fight out.

253/5 is ok but may not be enough. we dont know how will irfan go on debut. Gul is inconsistant as usual, Tanveer coming after a long break. Junaid would have been handy for pak.spinners may not be so good on day 2.

Posted by   on (February 14, 2013, 16:27 GMT)

This is pakistan team,only team which can beat SA in their home is Pak, although it was first day of the match but predication over here is very straight Pak gona level the series and for SA atrocious moments are on verge when they will come on the Batting,not predicting the what could be handsome score or respectable total but main thing they came out from dark room in aggression mode and it will lead towards them in wining postion.Well done pakistan we proud what you guys achieved today.

Posted by   on (February 14, 2013, 16:27 GMT)

much better and well played by younas & Shafiq. Could have been perfect day if younas didnt get out just 2 overs before closing. Top order again failed to survive new ball. and this time 1 could say , some poor batting, could have avoided 2 wickets atleast.

Lot more to do for pak but atleast something for bowlers to bowl at now. Shafiq has to take more responsibility tomorrow. Sarfraz need to show that he is in team inplace of adnan for his 1st class avg. so far in all formats he is looking worse batsman than ajmal. He need to prove his batting.

SA need a good spinner i would say, Robin is good but not backing properly to Morkel/Steyn Philander. if they have a wicket taking spinner in squad they would be more good.Agaisnt PAK i think they can go 5 seamers.

Posted by   on (February 14, 2013, 16:27 GMT)

well played Pakistan......

Posted by Amol_Ind_SA on (February 14, 2013, 16:25 GMT)

The only difference today's play will make is that it will stretch the game from the 4th day into the 5th...Everything else will stay the same as the first Test...

Posted by   on (February 14, 2013, 16:25 GMT)

good going pak should score atleast 100 more runs other batsmen should also follow this

Posted by   on (February 14, 2013, 16:25 GMT)

Outstanding performance by Younis and Shafiq; Almost two wickketless sessions for the world's best seam attack. SA bowlers can only take wickets with the new ball.

Posted by mzm149 on (February 14, 2013, 16:25 GMT)

Superb performance by Asad and Younus. I hope Pakistan team crosses 300. The responsibility now falls on bowlers to contain South Africa and get at least 50 runs lead. Pakistani spinners would be quite lethal in 4th innings.

Posted by Yousuf9999 on (February 14, 2013, 16:22 GMT)

What a performance by shafiq n younus khan........well done

Posted by   on (February 14, 2013, 16:17 GMT)

nice recovery................

Posted by   on (February 14, 2013, 16:16 GMT)

Excellent recovery... if Pakistan can get to a total of around 320 or more than that ... then our bowlers will surely give a tough time to SA..

Posted by ItalianCric on (February 14, 2013, 16:15 GMT)

Brilliant TONS by Younis and Shafiq, well ball phil,Styne

Posted by   on (February 14, 2013, 16:12 GMT)

Fantastic Knock form both the batsmens showing there commitment in to the feild , in some how manage to stay on stable score at the end of the day

Posted by   on (February 14, 2013, 16:12 GMT)

Much better by Pakistan, Well played by Younas-Asad. a not so good end to day to loose younas just 2 over before end but overall both played very well. some poor shots today. could have avoided 2 wickets atleast. & lot more for top order to do vs new ball.

Lot more to do, But atleast something for Pak bowlers to bowl at. Asad has to do more effort on day2. Sarfraz is looking even worse batsmen than ajmal even having an avg in 1st class. He is there instead of Adnan, & Adnan has showed more respect to his wicket. sarfraz has a batting point to prove in all formats.

SA need a good spinner in side with Morkel,philander, styen.

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