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Pak fight but trail by 267

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Published: Tuesday, November 23, 2010, 10:17 [IST]
 
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Pak fight but trail by 267

On the third day of the second Test against South Africa at Abu Dhabi, Pakistan batsmen Taufeeq Umar and Azhar Ali resumed trying to take thier side to a respectable total. With the overnight score at 59/1, there was still a lot of work to be done. But the two began batting in earnest, picking up the ones and twos and welcoming the occasional boundary. Ali moved to his fifty with a four to mid wicket off Morne Morkel in the 27th over.

In the 33rd over, Taufeeq Umar struck Kallis for a boundary between gully and point to bring up the 100. Ali had a stroke of luck in the 36th over when he was dropped by AB de Villiers at short leg off Paul Harris. But just a couple of overs later, Umar was out to Kallis for 43 when he top-edged a ball straight to Amla at square leg. Younis Khan was the new man, but he got out to a rash shot in the fortuitous 53rd over when he was snatched up by Amla at cover, off Steyn. Khan had to walk back to pavillion for a shameful 14 runs.

Only a couple of overs later, Ali joined him after spooning up Steyn to mid off where Graeme Smith took the catch. Ali was out for a well-made 90 and with Pakistan's score on 156/4, it was badly in need of a decent partnership. With two new batsmen at the crease in Asad Shafiq and Misbah-ul-Haq, it was tall order. But the two rose to the occasion and steadied the innings. Shafiq settled in nicely, hitting a four off Morkel and then Harris in the 59th and 60th overs, respectively. While he picked a bulk of the runs, Misbah was content just playing th sheet anchor's role.

But in the 68th over, Misbah cut loose and got stuck into Botha, sending him for three fours, one past fine leg, one through point and the third, past square leg. In the 70th over, the batting pair had taken the total to past 200. Then in the 73rd over, Shafiq got into the act, smacking Botha for three more fours, one a paddle-sweep fine, one over mid wicket and the third, through the covers. In the very next over, Misbah gave Harris the charge and lofted him over long on for a huge six.

The batsmen were clearly on top at this stage, bringing up their side's 250 in the 83rd over. But Shafiq eventually ran out of steam when he was snapped up by Kallis at slip off Harris for 61. Despite the century stand, Pakistan were once again looking precarious at 263/5. Soon after Shafiq departed, Misbah counter-attacked, getting Steyn away for two fours in the 91st over and bringing up his 50 in the process. Then Misbah went after Morkel, striking him for two boundaries in the 93rd over.

At the other end, Adnan was struggling to get off the mark. The wicketkeeper faced 15 balls before he hit a four of Harris in the 96th over. But he didn't last too much longer as in the 103rd over he was caught by Amla at short leg off Harris for 17. Then Abdur Rehman, who is yet to get off the mark and Misbah, unbeaten on 77 batted out the last few overs before stumps to take Pakistan to 317/6 after 106 overs. Their side still trail the Proteas by 267 runs in the first innings with two days to go.

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