Gul And Ajmal Warm-Up For First Test

Gul And Ajmal Warm-Up For First Test
Gul And Ajmal Warm-Up For First Test
©Action Images / Paul Childs

Pakistanis 329 (Sarfraz Ahmed 93) v
S African Inv XI 213-7 (van Jaarsveld 92)
Tour Match, East London, day two
Day One Report

Following a difficult second half to day one, the Pakistanis were back to near their best on day two to show just why the upcoming Test series against South Africa is so eagerly anticipated. Resuming on 178 for six, they were hauled up to 329 by the overnight pair of Sarfraz Ahmed and Umar Gul. Gul then took two wickets in the ninth over of the South African Invitational XI’s reply as they slipped to 31 for three.

Vaughn van Jaarsveld was on hand to stem the flow of wickets; the 27 year-old Dolphins middle-order batsman making 92 before becoming the first of a brace of victims for Saeed Ajmal, who enjoyed a good workout and ended with figures of two for 49 from 20 overs.

The star of the day, though, was Gul. He and Sarfraz Ahmed took their overnight seventh-wicket stand to 81, with the tall fast-bowler contributing 49 of them. He eventually fell to Warriors off-spinner Simon Harmer, who would also dismiss Sarfraz and Junaid Khan on his way to figures of five for 88. Sarfraz went a long way towards justifying his recall to the Pakistani Test squad at the expense of Adnan Akmal and made 93 prior to becoming Harmer’s fourth victim.

The start of the South Africans’ first innings saw a clatter of wickets, with Junaid Khan and Umar Gul , who will prove pivotal to Pakistan’s chances in the Test series, striking three times in the space of two overs. Junaid had Andrew Puttick trapped leg-before, with Gul then removing Davy Jacobs in similar fashion prior to castling Cody Chetty fourth ball.

Van Jaarsveld then showed why he was considered good enough in 2009 to play five times for South Africa’s full side and led the recovery alongside Stiaan van Zyl. The pair took the score to 120 before Mohammad Irfan struck twice in quick succession - first by running out van Zyl and then by having new batsman and captain Justin Ontong caught behind. Van Jaarsveld followed 10 overs later but not before he had added to his chances of a South Africa recall. He was trapped in front by Ajmal and, on a day when wickets tended to fall in clusters, Wayne Parnell followed soon afterwards, also off Ajmal.

The South Africans ended on 213 for seven and still trail by 116 runs. Regardless of the lead that the Pakistanis may gain tomorrow, their focus will now be on ensuring that their middle-order spends time in the middle in the second innings after they missed out first time around.

© Cricket World 2013




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