Imam-ul-Haq, Haris Sohail, Mohammad Amir star in warm-up win
Fifties from Sohail and Imam on the final day of the three-day warm-up fixture helped Pakistanis complete a win against Cricket South Africa Invitation XI in Benoni
Pakistanis 306 for 7 dec (Babar 104*, Azhar 100) and 195 for 4 (Imam 66, Sohail 73, Simmonds 2-79) beat CSA Invitation XI 318 for 7 dec (Ackerman 103*, Richards 98) and 182 for 7 dec (Brand 71, Amir 3-35) by six wickets
Half-centuries from Haris Sohail and Imam-ul-Haq, along with a three-wicket burst from Mohammad Amir, helped Pakistanis complete a win on the final day of their three-day warm-up fixture against Cricket South Africa Invitation XI in Benoni on Friday. Yasir Shah, who arrived in South Africa yesterday following the birth of his child, also got some overs under his belt, while Fakhar Zaman edged closer to fitness with another short innings.
The tourists won by six wickets late on day three, completing their preparations for the three-match Test series starting in Centurion on Boxing Day. Amir first bagged 3 for 35 in 12 overs, including the wickets of Joshua Richards and Matthew Breetzke for single digits, as the the hosts declared at 182 for 7.
Neil Brand top-scored for the home side with 71, having raised his fifty by dancing down at Yasir to clobber him over midwicket for six, before falling to Amir, edging a back of a length delivery to Asad Shafiq in the slips. There were useful 30s from captain Marques Ackerman and Onke Nyaku, and the young South Africans set a target of 195 in around 50 overs.
The Pakistanis were rarely troubled in their chase thanks to the anchoring innings played by Imam. The opener made 66 and he shared in a first-wicket stand of 42 with Shan Masood, who made 24 before he edged a lifter from Thandolwethu Mnyaka into the slips. Fakhar Zaman managed 18 before he was dismissed by Kyle Simmonds.
Imam then added 96 with top-scorer Sohail for the third wicket, raising his fifty from 79 deliveries in just under two hours before he was stumped by Rivaldo Moonsamy off Simmonds' left-arm spin. Sohail picked up where he left off with a brisk, unbeaten 73 that included two sixes and helped the touring side reach their target in 40.2 overs.
Liam Brickhill is a freelance journalist based in Cape Town