Cape Town – Younus Khan and Asad Shafiq shared a double-century partnership to rebuild Pakistan’s first innings and guide them to 253 for five at stumps on the opening day of the second Test against South Africa, in Cape Town, on Thursday.
Their 220-run fifth-wicket stand, off 429 balls – Pakistan’s highest partnership for any wicket against South Africa – was achieved after they came together in difficult circumstances with Pakistan reeling at 33 for four in the 17th over.
Newlands Cricket Ground achieved a landmark of its own, becoming the first venue in South Africa to host 50 Tests and only the 12th in the world to do so.
Younus was the first to reap the rewards of his hard work, scoring his 21st century off 192 balls. He built his innings perfectly – leaving well and defending well – and unleashed some beautiful strokes, mainly through the leg side, including seven fours and three sixes.
He made 111 and was eventually given out for caught behind, off Vernon Philander just before stumps.
Shafiq took 201 deliveries for only his third Test century, smashing 13 fours and a six and achieved his highest score in Test cricket.
At the close of play, Shafiq was unbeaten on 111 and Sarfraz Ahmed had yet to get off the mark.
Robbie Peterson took most of the punishment, going for 85 runs off his 19 overs and, as the afternoon progressed, the bowlers showed their frustration as they struggled through the two sessions.
At the start of the day, the pace attack looked unplayable with Dale Steyn finding some movement off the very first-ball.
It was Philander who made the initial breakthrough when he had Nasir Jamshed (3) caught behind by wicketkeeper AB de Villiers.
Mohammad Hafeez followed shortly afterwards after he was forced into a defensive shot and got a thick outside edge to Steyn, which went low to Graeme Smith at first slip.
Morkel Morkel then got into the action, striking twice in one over.
Azhar Ali (4) got an outside edge straight into De Villiers’ gloves and four balls’ later, captain Misbah-ul-Huq, was back in the dressing room for a duck.
Misbah was unable to get his bat out of the way in time and gloved one to Dean Elgar at short leg. – Sapa