Younus and Shafiq rescue Pakistan
Younus Khan and Asad Shafiq conducted a masterclass of grit and determination to haul Pakistan back into contention on day one of the second Test against South Africa at Newlands.
A reprise of the tourists’ 49 all out in the series opener looked a distinct possibility as they crumbled to 33 for four against the new ball but Younus’ 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 the wicket of Younus as Pakistan closed on 253 for five.
Younus faced 226 balls for his 111, while Shafiq will resume on the second 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. Seven-foot seamer Mohammad Irfan was therefore given a debut and there was a recall for Tanvir Ahmed.
Yet it was the South Africa bowlers who got first use of the Cape Town pitch after Graeme Smith won the toss.
Dale Steyn and Vernon Philander started well, with the latter making a breakthrough in the eighth over.
Philander first had Jamshed dropped by Francois du Plessis at gully, but dismissed him for three with the very next delivery when AB de Villiers gathered a simple catch behind the stumps.
Mohammad Hafeez reached 17 before being caught at slip off the first ball of Steyn’s second spell.
Morne Morkel then stepped up to see off Azhar Ali and captain Misbah-ul-Haq in the space of five balls.
Azhar drove airily at one to hand de Villiers a second catch and Misbah followed for a duck, fending a hostile ball to short-leg.
Pakistan were reeling but found two men willing to take up the fight in Younus and Shafiq. They stemmed the flow to take the score to 60 by lunch and retained a cautious approach when adding just 13 in the first 10 overs after the resumption.
Smith eventually turned to Robin Peterson and the spinner had Shafiq dropped at short-leg on 24.
He made the most of his life, striking four fours in the next five overs to overtake his veteran partner.
Younus was the first to bring up his half-century and did so in some style by pulling Peterson over midwicket for the day’s first six.
Shafiq reached the landmark in the last over of the afternoon, nudging Peterson for two.
Tea came with the pair’s stand worth exactly 100 - a total they more than doubled in a profitable evening session.
Shafiq topped up his tally with three fours in four balls off Morkel and Jacques Kallis, while Younus took a liking to Peterson, striking two more towering sixes off the slow left-armer.
South Africa were beginning to show real frustration as the run-rate continued to climb and Younus moved to three figures by milking Dean Elgar’s occasional spin for consecutive twos.
The 200 stand arrived in the 80th over, with Shafiq’s hundred following three balls later courtesy of his 13th four.
The new ball was eagerly taken and Steyn had Younus lbw after just four balls, only for the decision to be overturned when a review revealed an inside edge.
It looked as though that would be the final drama of the day until Philander struck with 12 balls left before stumps.
His initial appeal appeared to be for lbw but the TV umpire detected another inside edge, making de Villiers’ low take decisive.