Malik, Butt help Pak stage fightback

Published: Wednesday, October 3, 2007, 3:35 [IST]
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Karachi: Skipper Shoaib Malik's fighting half-century and his undefeated 70-run stand with Butt helped Pakistan to stay alive against South Africa at lunch on day three of the first Test here at the National Stadium on Wednesday.

Malik, leading his country for the first time in Tests, made an unbeaten 61 while his deputy Salman Butt is on 22.

The home side still need 32 to avoid the follow-on in reply to South Africa's first-innings total of 450.

Malik, 25, passed 1000 Test runs by lifting left-arm spinner Paul Harris for six over long-on just before the interval.

Pakistan, resuming on a precarious 127 for five, lost nightwatchman Abdul Rehman in the eighth over when he was caught behind by Mark Boucher off Andre Nel for nine.

Malik was joined by Butt, who could not open the innings on the second day after being taken to hospital with stomach pains.

The left-handed Butt provided strong support for his captain, playing with an assurance that belied his condition to reach 22 not out at the interval. The two batted out the remaining 88 minutes with Malik farming the majority of the strike.

Malik was in fine form after resuming on nine and was particularly severe on anything short despite the slow nature and low bounce of the pitch.

He reached his sixth Test half century from 118 balls and including five fours.

Brief Scores (at lunch, D-3): 

South Africa Ist innings 450 all out ( Kallis 155, AB de Villiers 77, Hashim Amla 71, Gibbs 54; Rehman 4 for 105, Gul 2 for 60) Vs Pakistan Ist innings 219 for 6 (Malik 61 n o, Akmal 42, Hafeez 34, Butt 22 n o; Nel 2 for 34, Harris 2 for 56).



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