Azhar Ali and Babar Azam register centuries in productive day for Pakistan in tour game

Waseem Ahmed 19:46 20/12/2018
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Azhar Ali retired out after scoring 100.

Azhar Ali and Babar Azam struck centuries in what was a fruitful day of cricket for Pakistan in their warm-up tour game against a Cricket South Africa Invitational XI at Benomi.

The tourists declared their first innings at 306-7 on Friday after the hosts had posted 318-7 on day one. Pakistan pacer Mohammad Amir then picked up the wicket of Joshua Richards as the hosts were reduced to 45-1 in their second innings before stumps were drawn on day two.

Earlier in the day, both Pakistan openers Imam-ul-Haq (23) and Fakhar Zaman (19) got decent starts but were unable to kick on as the CSA XI bowlers kept chipping away with regular wickets. Uncapped Shan Masood looked good in his 41-run innings before he became Thandolwethu Mnyaka’s second scalp of the day.

Haris Sohail and Asad Shafiq had poor outings with the bat for Pakistan with the former scoring only four while the latter was dismissed for a duck.

Pakistan’s innings was faltering at 112-5 before Azhar and Babar put on a 155-run stand for the sixth wicket. Azhar retired hurt after bringing up an excellent ton off 151 deliveries before Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed was dismissed for seven runs.

Babar brought up his century towards the end of the day before Sarfraz opted to give his bowlers a go before the close of play.

A strong showing by Babar Azam.

A strong showing by Babar Azam.

The Pakistan skipper will be delighted to see Amir double his match tally after the Pakistan pacer castled the stumps of Richards in the final session on Friday.

The ongoing three-day clash is Pakistan’s sole warm up fixture before they take on hosts South Africa in a three-Test series commencing on Boxing Day.

BRIEF SCORES

Cricket South Africa Invitational XI first innings: 318-7 declared

Pakistan first innings: 306-7 declared

Azhar Ali: 100 (retired out)

Babar Azam: 104not out

Cricket South Africa Invitational XI second innings: 45-1

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