Pakistan will ring changes, says Inzamam

Published: Tuesday, January 16, 2007, 23:53 [IST]
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Centurion:Pakistan captain Inzamam-u-Haq said there would be three or four changes of personnel ahead of the second Test against South Africa starting in Port Elizabeth.

"We will come back hard," said Inzamam after Pakistan were beaten by seven wickets on the fifth day of the first Test at Centurion Park Monday.

Hashim Amla (64 not out) and Jacques Kallis (60 not out) took South Africa to a comfortable win when they put on an unbeaten 119 for the fourth wicket as South Africa made light of what coach Mickey Arthur had expected to be a difficult task on a wearing pitch.

Inzamam pointed out that Pakistan were below strength because of the absence of star batsman Mohammad Yousuf and an injury to fast bowler Umar Gul.

He said Yousuf, who arrived in South Africa Tuesday following the birth of a daughter in Pakistan Friday, would strengthen the batting, while he said Gul was making good progress. "He bowled five overs in the nets today and we hope he will be ready to play."

Fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar is also expected to come into contention. He joined the touring party as cover for Gul but only arrived the day before the first Test.

South African captain Graeme Smith hailed his side's third win in as many weeks. "We had to work really hard in the middle of the match." Smith said the pitch had not suited South Africa's fast bowlers.

"We joked that last week (against India in Cape Town) we won at Eden Gardens and this week we won at Lahore," said Smith. "The wickets haven't been natural South African wickets where our fast bowlers have been able to bowl their natural lines."

Smith said the introduction of left-arm spinner Paul Harris had strengthened the team. "He's made a big impact and we were able to build pressure on the Pakistan batsmen in the second innings."

Smith acknowledged that Pakistan would be stronger in the remaining two Tests. He said Yousuf was a world class batsman but pointed out: "In South Africa we have dealt with him pretty well. We have had decent game plans against him so we will have go back and review those plans."

Smith said Amla's second half-century of the match had been an important breakthrough for the player. "Today was about pressure, about batting well in the fourth innings. Hashim and Jacques were superb.

"For Hashim it's the first time at international level he's had to bat out to win a Test match and that's a huge notch on his belt."

Leg-spinner Danish Kaneria, who had been expected to be Pakistan's dangerman, gained some sharp turn at times but was unable to take a wicket in 24.5 over.

Amla was beaten twice in the first over of the day by Kaneria but played the spin bowler with increasing confidence.

Nightwatchman Harris was the only batsman to be dismissed, caught at cover off Mohammad Asif for seven.

Play started 45 minutes late because of a wet outfield caused by overnight rain.

South Africa, who resumed at 69 for two, lost Harris in the sixth over of the day when he drove Asif uppishly and Faisal Iqbal held an easy catch.

Kallis, South Africa's most experienced batsman, started cautiously before batting with confidence and taking over as the senior partner, while man-of-the-match Amla played a sound supporting role in making his second half-century of the match.

The pair added 119 off 227 balls and were seldom trouble, especially in scoring the 77 runs they still needed after lunch.

South Africa set up the win when they took a 104-run first innings lead despite batting second, with a century by Ashwell Prince and half-centuries by Amla and Herschelle Gibbs making the bulk of the runs.


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