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The Best of Tests: Mark Boucher and Pat Symcox dig South Africa out of trouble with record 195-run stand for 9th wicket

South Africa's Mark Boucher
©Reuters

Test cricket mirrors life. The ebbs and flows of the format have given birth to some of the most breath-taking cricketing epics. A Cricket World Series, The Best of Tests, highlights the finest of these spectacles.

 

Match Summary

 

1st Test, Pakistan tour of South Africa at Johannesburg, Feb 14-18 1998

South Africa 364 & 44/0

Pakistan 329

Result - Match drawn

Player of the Match - Pat Symcox

 

 

In the first Test on the Pakistan tour of South Africa in 1998, South Africa had their backs to the wall with the score reading 166 for 8.

Apart from a measured 46 from opener Adam Bacher, there had been no contributions from South Africa's top 6. Shaun Pollock stayed at the wicket for some time for his 21 but he too departed soon.

It was now down to Mark Boucher, who was interestingly slotted below Pollock in the batting order, to dig the home side out of trouble. He found an able ally in Pat Symcox, who struck 108 off just 157 deliveries including 17 fours in the 195-run partnership which is the record for the 9th wicket in Test cricket.

The duo took South Africa's score from 166/8 to 361/9 when Symcox was finally dismissed. Waqar Younis and Mushtaq Ahmed picked up three wickets each for Pakistan.

The visitors replied strongly with 329 on the back of a century from Azhar Mahmood but the two innings consumed a lot of time in the match. No play was possible on day 4 due to rain, which did not help the cause either.

With South Africa at 44 for no loss on the last day, both captains decided for the match to end in a draw. Symcox became only the third batsman in Test history to score a century batting at number 10 and received a well-deserved Man of the Match award.

 

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