Proteas fought back beautifully to steal the advantage that Pakistan had in the Second Test at Lahore. A partnership of 88 between Mark Boucher and Paul Harris brought South Africa back in the game. South Africa added 98 more runs today after resuming at 259 for 6 today. Pakistan replied well to a good looking 357 from SA but then lost the plot to end up at 140 for 4 at stumps on the second day.
Paul Harris had an excellent day, first with the bat scoring a career best of 46 after surviving for nearly three hours. Boucher in the company of Harris made a valuable 54 with 4 fours and a six before being the last man to be dismissed. SA got 357 having lasted 125.1 overs. For Pakistan, Danish Kaneria toiled hard taking four wickets after having bowled 43.1 overs.
Salman Butt along with makeshift opener Kamran Akmal put on a wonderful opening start to put Pakistan in a commanding position at Tea with the score reading 51 for no loss in just nine overs. However in the last session, Salman Butt failed to convert his good start into a bigger one after getting a top edge in his sweep off Harris. Butt made 40 in an opening stand of 90. While Salman Butt got out in the 21st over, Younis Khan got cleaned up by an indipper from Andre Nel in the very next over. Younis had just the three balls stay in which he avoided being duck out. Within another few minutes, Kamran Akmal, who was batting very well spooned up a catch at covers after driving a Harris delivery that was just short of the driving length.
At 99 for 3, Pakistan looked upto the experienced duo of Mohammad Yousuf and Inzamam-ul-Haq. The two batsmen had tough time to begin with but then started to get their eye in. A bad shot selection from Yousuf cost him his wicket. Yousuf (25) got hit on the pad after going for a pull shot off Steyn but the ball didn’t get up as expected leaving him in trouble in front of the stumps. Inzamam and Misbah-ul-Haq remained unbeaten to see the day off for Pakistan at 140 for 4 in 37 overs. Inzamam has got 10 out of the 20 runs that he needs to become Pakistan’s highest run getter in Test Cricket. The pitch although is good for batting, there is bite for the South African spinner Paul Harris, who is bowling superbly. The odd ball is also keeping low to make the Test Match more and more interesting. Pakistan being 217 runs behind SA with another six wickets in hand need a lot of catching up job to be done. A lot depends on the trio of Inzy, Misbah and Shoaib Malik to give Pakistan a vital first innings lead.