1st Test: Manzoor ton puts Pakistan in command

ABU DABHI: Pakistan opener Khurram Manzoor was unbeaten on 131 for his maiden hundred and skipper Misbahul Haq 44 not out as Pakistan led by 14 runs with seven wickets in hand at stumps on the second day of the first Test in Abu Dhabi.

The home side finished at 263 for three in reply to South Africa’s 249 all out at close.

Earlier, Manzoor and Shan Masood gave Pakistan a rare good start, adding 135 for the first wicket before the debutant fell after scoring 75.

Azhar Ali could not survive for long and was caught behind off Vernon Philander’s delivery for only seven.

Pakistan suffered a slight hiccup when veteran Younus Khan followed Ali to the dressing room for just one run off Morne Morkel’s bowling.

However, captain Misbah steadied things along with Manzoor to ensure Pakistan ended the stronger side at the end of day two.

In the morning, South Africa were dismissed after adding just four runs to their overnight score of 245 for eight.

Manzoor and Masood batted with confidence to blunt a four-pronged South African pace attack on a lifeless Sheik Zayed Stadium pitch, reaching 77-0 at lunch.

Masood was the first to reach his maiden half-century, off 102 balls while Manzoor reached his sixth fifty — third in a row in Tests — off 96 deliveries.

Masood finally fell, leg-before to part-timer Jean-Paul Duminy, after hitting eight boundaries off 140 balls.

This becomes Pakistan’s first century stand since Taufiq Umar and Mohammad Hafeez put on 114 against England in Dubai in January last year, ten Tests earlier. The Masood-Khurram pair is Pakistan’s sixth different combination in seven Tests as they struggled to find a solid opening pair.

Earlier, Mohammad Irfan (three for 44) dismissed centurion Hashim Amla (118) off the second ball of the day, as he edged one sharp delivery straight into the hands of slip where Younus held a regulation catch.

With the catch, Younus equalled Javed Miandad’s all-time Test catches record for Pakistan with 93.