Cape Town – Shan Masood scored 75 on debut as Pakistan enjoyed a rare century opening partnership to build a solid foundation of 155/1 wicket at tea on the second day of the first Test against South Africa in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday.
Together with Khurram Manzoor, they saw off South Africa's much-vaunted pace attack to pile on 135 runs for the first wicket before Masood was trapped leg before wicket by spinner JP Duminy. South Africa were dismissed in the morning for 249.
They are the first opening pair to compile a century partnership in Pakistan's last 24 Test innings, the last one coming when the side beat England in Dubai in early 2012.
Pakistan have experimented with six different opening pairings in their last seven tests but looked to have found a potential solution with the 24-year-old Masood and Manzoor, who has passed 50 in each of his last three innings.
Masood, who hit a four off his first ball in Test cricket, showed plenty of maturity as he shrugged off a barrage of short deliveries and verbal abuse from an increasingly frustrated South African attack, bringing up his maiden 50 in 102 balls.
Manzoor, 72 not out, will be aiming to pass his Test high score of 93 in Tuesday's final session, which Pakistan begin 94 runs adrift of South Africa after dismissing their opponents early in the morning.
Resuming on 245/8, South Africa added just four runs to their overnight total in four overs as they lost their last two wickets cheaply.
Hashim Amla, who had been the outstanding performer of the opening day, was out to the second ball of the morning, edging to slip for 118. It was the third wicket of the innings for giant seamer Mohammad Irfan (3/44).
The second match of the two-Test series starts on October 23 in Dubai. – Reuters