East London – A swash-buckling innings of 92 by Dolphins left-hander Vaughn van Jaarsveld kept the South African Invitation XI in a game dominated by the Pakistan touring team on the second day of their four-day match at Buffalo Park on Saturday.
At stumps the SA Invitation XI were on 213/7, 116 runs behind Pakistan’s 329 all out, with only three wickets in hand.
Dane Vilas on 31 and Simon Harmer on 2 not out would continue the batting Sunday morning.
Van Jaarsveld’s innings was studded with 10 fours and a six off spinner Saeed Ajmal and was unfortunate to miss out on a well-deserved century.
He scored his runs all round the wicket and looked in no trouble throughout his innings but a slightly faster one from Ajmal got through his defence and he was out lbw, Only Stiaan van Zyl with 45 was also able to get among the runs.
Earlier, a career seventh five-wicket haul by off-spinner Harmer was instrumental in Pakistan being dismissed in their first innings on the stroke of lunch for 329. He finished with 5/88.
The tourists had started the day on 178/6 after rain and bad light had cut short Friday’s play by some 90 minutes.
Both overnight batsmen Sarfraz Ahmed and Umar Gul were happy to play their shots early on and Gul in particular was very aggressive.
He hit Harmer for a huge six, his second of the innings after slamming the same bowler Friday over the boundary.
Then, with his half-century in sight, Gul tried one big hit too many, missed, and was smartly stumped by Vilas off Harmer. The two had added 81 for the seventh wicket and at 226 for seven Pakistan appeared more comfortable.
Meanwhile Ahmed was batting more circumspectly, picking the right ball to hit. He went to his half-century off 103 balls with six fours.
The arrival of the second new ball had immediate success with Saeed Ajmal being caught behind by Vilas off Kyle Abbott but then Ahmed began to protect the tailenders with some clever batting.
He and number 10, Junaid Khan, 26, added 45 for the ninth wicket and then Ahmed and the tall Mohammad Irfan added a further 49 for the last wicket in a partnership that frustrated the SA Invitation XI bowlers.
Ahmed hustled along to 93 before he was caught by Abbott on the long-off boundary off Harmer. He stroked 12 fours and hit a six and saw the score rise from a precarious 145/5, to 329 all out.
Andrew Puttick was leg before wicket to Junaid Khan for 8, and then both Davy Jacobs, 19, and Cody Chetty, who failed to score, were dismissed in the same over by a pumped up Gul, who had 2/17 in his first spell of seven overs.
Then the two left-handers Stiaan van Zyl and Vaughn van Jaarsveld got together and they proceeded to play some enterprising, exciting cricket, adding 89 in just under two hours.
At the tea interval they were together at 120/3 but in the first over after tea disaster struck when Van Zyl drove a ball to mid-off and dashed down the pitch, but Van Jaarsveld sent him back and a direct hit from Irfan saw needlessly Van Zyl run out. – Sapa