Younis Khan and Asad Shafiq conducted a master-class of grit and determination as their twin centuries hauled Pakistan back into contention on day one of the second Test against South Africa at Newlands.
A reprise of their 49 all out in the series opener looked a distinct possibility as they crumbled to 33 for four against the new ball, but Younis’ 21st Test ton and a third from Shafiq turned the tables in dramatic fashion as the duo added 219.
The Proteas took less than 17 overs to dismiss Mohammad Hafeez, Nasir Jamshed, Azhar Ali and Misbah-ul-Haq, but had to wait until the 89th over to add Younis’s wicket as Pakistan reached 253 for five. Younis faced 226 balls for his 111, while Shafiq will resume in the morning having made the same score from two more deliveries.
Pakistan started the day by confirming that Junaid Khan and Rahat Ali had both been ruled out with injury, handing 7 ft seamer Mohammad Irfan a debut and Tanvir Ahmed a recall to the side.
Meanwhile, England wicketkeeper Matt Prior has predicted friction ahead unless there is a change in the ECB’s stance on the lucrative Indian Premier League.
As things stand, the ECB will not allow any of its England-contracted players to play longer than half a season in India owing to Test commitments.
Such obligations mean some England players are not considered to be stellar names in the big-money player auctions, with Prior having been unsold for the past two years.
Prior said: “I know for a fact that players want to play in the IPL – you can’t get away from the fact that there is an enormous amount of money at stake. I’m employed by the ECB, so I do what the ECB says right now. My priority is playing Test cricket for England and when I am needed to play Test cricket for England I will play.
“The one thing, however, is that the IPL and these Twenty20 competitions are not going away.
“There are going to be more and more people getting frustrated at the lack of opportunity to play in the IPL. So things may have to change in time.”
l All-rounder Angelo Mathews was appointed captain of the Sri Lankan Test and one-day international teams yesterday for a period of 11 months beginning with next month’s home series against Bangladesh.
Mathews succeeds Mahela Jayawardene, who accepted captaincy in January 2012 for a period of one year so that Sri Lanka could groom their next skipper.