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Cricket | Domestic Cricket

Misbah-ul-Haq © Gallo Images

Pakistanis survive early scares

The Pakistani tourists finished the first day of a two-day match against an Emerging Cobras team, comprised of amateur players from Western Province and Boland, on 127 for four, still trailing the hosts by 29.

After some early scares, Faisal Iqbal played a solid innings and captain Misbah-ul-Haq played soundly to take the visitors to stumps on Sunday with just four wickets down.

The Emerging Cobras batted first on a difficult pitch by arrangement with their opponents.

The Pakistani team rested all the bowlers from the first test except Rahat Ali, although Saeed Ajmal was drafted in to bowl an over late in the innings.

Rahat Ali took the first wicket as Sharn Gomes was caught behind.

Matthew Kleinveldt and Keegan Petersen put on a attractive partnership of 62 from 92 balls to repair the early damage, but Mohammad Irfan dismissed them in successive overs. Lunch was taken on 89 for four.

There was not much resistance after the break. Sybrand Engelbrecht battled his way to 22 before being undone by a brute of a delivery from Rahat Ali which he could only glove to gully.

Taariq Chiecktey, the only player in the team yet to play first-class cricket, had the opposite misfortune as he ducked into a bouncer that stayed low, and gloved a catch to the keeper.

The Emerging Cobras made just 156. If the number of bouncers sent down is anything to go by, the tourists are preparing to fight fire with fire when they move a kilometre or so down the road for the second test starting on Thursday at Sahara Park Newlands.

Mohammad Irfan had much to do with that low total, taking four for 20 in his 12 overs.

Abdur Rehman also returned useful figures with three for 31 and Rahat Ali finished with two for 27. Tanvir Ahmed was disappointing, taking one for 61 in eleven overs.

The Pakistanis were soon in trouble when they batted. Nasir Jamshed did not take his place at the top of the order, having injured an ankle while fielding.

Imran Farhat and veteran Younis Khan both edged to Ockert Erasmus in the slips. Azhar Ali was bowled by a peach of a yorker from Johan Bothma, and the Pakistanis were in a shaky position at 29 for three.

However, when Bothma and Brendon Young finished their opening spells, the pressure was relieved considerably.

Misbah-ul-Haq joined Faisal Iqbal, and the pair were comfortable in adding 58 off 75 balls. A good catch by Kleinveldt at square leg ended the partnership as Faisal Iqbal miscued a pull. He scored 33 off 44 balls with seven boundaries

Asad Shafiq joined his skipper and ensured that there were no further unpleasant surprises. By the close they had added 40.

Misbah-ul-Haq will resume on Monday on 44. He has hit just three fours, but two successive deliveries in Erasmus's first over disappeared over the sightscreen for the maximum off his bat. Asad Shafiq is on 21.

Neither Bothma nor Young had a second spell. The former finished with two for 19 and the latter one for 14. Mondli Mahlombe also has one wicket, but went for 35 in his seven overs.


EMERGING COBRAS:Mathew Kleinveldt, Shaun Gomes, Uwe Birkenstock, Keegan Petersen, RCC Canning (captain), SA Engelbrecht, Petrus Jeftha, Ockert Erasmus, Modnli Mahlombe, Johan Bothma, Brendon Young and Tariq Chiecktey.

PAKISTANIS: Imran Farhat, Nasir Jamshed, Azhar Ali, Younis Khan, Misbah-ul-Haq (capt), Asad Shafiq, Faisal Iqbal, Sarfraz Ahmed, Abdur Rehman, Mohammad Irfan, Tanvir Ahmed, Rahat Ali and Ehsan Adil


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