By BV Swagath
Pakistan have grabbed the initiative in the opening Test following a solid batting performance on Day 2 to move into a first innings lead. Having bowled out the Proteas for a modest total of 249, Pakistan are sitting pretty at 263 for 3.
Misbah’s team had a perfect morning taking the remaining two wickets of SA giving away just four runs. Mohammad Irfan struck in the second ball of the day’s play forcing centurion Hashim Amla (118) to edge him to slips. Saeed Ajmal wrapped up the innings getting Dale Steyn (15) stumped out with a doosra.
By lunch, Pakistan got off to a splendid start with debutant Shan Masood and Khurram Manzoor seeing off any threat from the new ball to take the score to 77 for no loss in 22 overs. South Africa’s breakthrough came through after drinks when Shan Masood was trapped lbw by JP Duminy’s drifter. The 24-year-old left-hander scored 75 from 140 balls with 8 fours.
Azhar Ali (11), who walked in with his team at 135 for 1, didn’t score many getting caught behind off an away going delivery from Vernon Philander. South Africa bounced back strongly as Morne Morkel had Younis Khan (1) gloving a snorter of a short delivery to gully to reduce Pakistan to 178 for 3.
South Africa’s hopes of making further inroads were dashed by the pair of Khurram Manzoor and Skipper Misbah-ul-Haq. The pair batted out the rest of the day’s play to put up an unbroken stand of 185 runs for the fourth wicket.
It was a maiden century for the 27-year-old Khurram Manzoor who is playing his 10th Test. Manzoor remained unbeaten on 131 from 244 balls with 14 fours. Misbah helped himself to 44* from 77 balls with 4 fours.