• Pakistan complete win over CSA XI

    Pakistan gathered a tidy six-wicket victory over the Cricket South Africa Invitation XI at Willowmoore Park in Benoni on Friday.

    Pursuing a modest 195-run target in the fourth innings, the hosts were trumped in the final session of the three-day fixture.

    Opener Imam-ul-Haq and middle-order kingpin Haris Sohail struck solid half-centuries, while spinner Kyle Simmonds took two wickets.

    The match was highlighted by fine centuries from host captain Marques Ackerman in the first innings – and visiting duo Azhar Ali and Babar Azam in the second.

    The match provided the Pakistanis with valuable preparation ahead of a challenging three-Test series against South Africa. The first Test at SuperSport Park in Centurion will start on 26 December. Tests two and three will follow at Newlands in Cape Town and the Wanderers in Johannesburg respectively.

    ‘We’ve come here with a very exciting young team. It’s a team that’s starting to gel well together. It’s a young Test team at the moment, but a very exciting Test team. We really think we have a good chance out here,’ said Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur.

    The Proteas will be without all-rounder Vernon Philander for the series opener – and fast bowler Lungi Ngidi for all three Tests. Both have been sidelined by injury. The uncapped Zubayr Hamza and Dane Paterson have been named in the squad.

    ‘They’re a good batting line-up, they are, but we’re a very good bowling line-up. So we do feel we can make some inroads there, for sure. Our bowling attack is incredibly skillful in all conditions,’ added Arthur.

    Photo: Gallo

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