Pakistan v South Africa, 2nd Test, Lahore, 2nd day

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Pakistan 140 for 4 (Akmal 52, Butt 40, Harris 2-33) trail South Africa 357 by 217 runs

Pakistan failed to capitalise on an aggressive 90-run opening partnership between Salman Butt and Kamran Akmal - losing three wickets for nine runs - as South Africa, helped by sharp fielding, restricted the hosts to 140 for 4, needing another 17 to avoid the follow-on. Earlier, Mark Boucher and Paul Harris frustrated the home side as they posted 357.

Full report to follow

Tea Pakistan 51 for 0 (Butt 30*, Akmal 21*) trail South Africa 357 by 306 runs

Pakistan openers posted an aggressive reply to South Africa's 357 as they raced past the 50-run mark in the nine overs before the tea interval.

Kamran Akmal and Salman Butt, although shaky at times, feasted on the short-of-length tactics adopted by the South African opening bowlers, including hitting Dale Steyn for 19 runs in an over. They provided their team with the start they were looking for after a frustrating time in the field early on.

Steyn, who was the destroyer-in-chief with a second-innings five-wicket haul in Karachi, bowled an impressive first over, beating Akmal with pace and swing. However, he altered his length in the following over and runs started to flow as Pakistan hit 10 boundaries in the brief session.

South Africa 357 (Prince 63, Kallis 59, Boucher 54, Kaneria 4-114, Gul 3-103) v Pakistan

Mark Boucher and Paul Harris helped South Africa pass the 350-mark but an improved post-lunch bowling performance and Boucher's desire to increase the scoring-rate enabled Pakistan to restrict the visitors to 357 in their first innings.

As South Africa resumed on their overnight 259 for 6, an early wicket - Andre Nel caught at short leg off Umar Gul - put the home side into the driving seat straight away. Hoping to dismiss the tail in quick time, and avoid chasing another huge first-innings total, the Pakistan fast bowlers were content on pitching it short even when results seemed to their detriment.

Harris had a previous Test highest of 11 not out and it was pity he missed his half-century as he mixed defence with some decent stroke-play. He also ducked with ease the many short balls that Pakistan's fast bowlers aimed at him. Causing damage with the ball thus far, Harris frustrated Pakistan for 132 deliveries and played some cheeky sweeps off Danish Kaneria and an elegant straight drive off Mohammad Asif.

Though he was there to provide support to Boucher, Harris overtook him while they were batting together, as Gul and Asif failed to bowl even a single yorker to him.

It was a fullish delivery that saw the back of Harris - after a few edges that failed to carry and Younis Khan putting one down at second slip - as he drove Gul uppishly to cover. Boucher, too, was content with taking his time out in the middle and hit only four fours - elegant leaning drives off the fast bowlers and sweeps off the legspinner - and reached his fifty with a pulled six over fine leg. As Boucher perished trying to clear long-on, South Africa had managed 357, after even 300 looked hard to get at start of play today.

With 357 on the board, South Africa will hope to make early inroads especially with a shaky Pakistan opening combination. But the return of Mohammad Yousuf and Inzamam-ul-Haq to the middle order could frustrate their chances.

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