Second Test Match

Pakistan v South Africa

At Sheikhupura, October 17, 18, 19, 20, 21. Drawn. Toss: South Africa. Test debuts: Ali Hussain Rizvi; M. V. Boucher.

Monsoon rains, injury and illness starred in this game. Play was possible on only two days. Meanwhile, a groin injury ended wicket-keeper Dave Richardson's unique run of 38 Tests for South Africa since their readmission in 1992; 20-year-old Mark Boucher stepped up after a hasty journey from East London. Klusener played because Donald was injured, and South Africa included both their spinners as Schultz had flown home. After the washed-out first day, Kallis was rushed into hospital with appendicitis and Rhodes replaced him. Pakistan were reinforced by Wasim Akram, after six months off with a bad shoulder, but lost Waqar Younis to a bruised foot. They also added a spinner, Ali Hussain Rizvi.

Both teams stayed amid the big-city comforts of Lahore, and the 90-minute drive meant a 6 a.m. wake-up call for the players, who travelled wrapped in tracksuits and plugged into personal stereos to distract themselves from the journey, which was especially frightful on the first day due to torrential rain. The skies cleared after lunch and nine motley pieces of canvas and tarpaulin were removed to reveal a saturated pitch. There was much gnashing of teeth over this debacle, but no one took responsibility. Referee Ranjan Madugalle did sterling work cajoling the players into action in less than ideal conditions on the second afternoon.

Kirsten and Bacher set off with a second successive century stand, thanks to aggressive strokeplay and necessary luck against Wasim. Mushtaq Ahmed was bowling his leg-spin by the tenth over. The turn was very slow, but Bacher was still unable to pick it in time. Unable to defend with confidence, he counter-attacked with lofted straight drives and sweeps, striding towards a maiden Test century on a bright third day. Then nerves trapped him on 96, equalling his previous best. Mushtaq, who had passed the bat with nine out of 11 balls, found the edge with the 12th. Cronje raised the tempo with three slog-sweep sixes, while Pollock and Klusener added 96 in 18 overs.

Saeed Anwar had expected South Africa to crumble against spin; instead, they made 402. Mushtaq took four for 122 while Saqlain was attacked with some ease and Rizvi, despite a funfair loop and plenty of turn, looked out of his depth. Pakistan passed fifty that evening, losing Anwar just before rain ended play ten overs early. And on the fourth and fifth days, bedraggled bystanders watched the teams driving through drenching rain on a three-hour round trip with no prospect of play. The water buffalo, barely able to keep their nostrils above the rising tide of the fields, emerged on to the road, making the final drive back slower than ever.

Close of play: First day, No play; Second day, South Africa 154-2 (A. M. Bacher 78*, D. J. Cullinan 1*); Third day, Pakistan 53-1 (Ali Naqvi 30*, Saqlain Mushtaq 0*); Fourth day, No play.

© John Wisden & Co