The touring Pakistan side declared their first innings within reach of the Cricket South Africa Invitational XI’s first innings score on day two of their three-day fixture at Willowmoore Park in Benoni on Thursday.
Azhar Ali and Babar Azam added 155 for the sixth wicket after Pakistan had been reduced to 112-5, Thandolwethu Mnyaka taking three key wickets. Ali retired after reaching his century off 151 balls, while Azam ended not out on 104 off 129 balls when the declaration came.
Mnyaka ended with figures of 16-6-45-3, while Ryan Cartwright, Lwandiswa Zuma and Kyle Simmonds each picked up a wicket as Pakistan declared on 306-7 off 78.2 overs.
In-form Joshua Richards was bowled by Mohammad Amir for eight off six balls, but the young man has already made a name for himself in his three months in first class cricket. In just 12 innings he has already scored four centuries and two fifties, the latest in the first innings against Pakistan as he fell two runs short of a fifth first-class century in only his 11th first-class knock.
Neil Brand will resume his innings on 30 tomorrow morning, alongside Tshepang Dithole, who is on seven. Amir was the only bowler to taste success in the Cricket South Africa Invitation XI’s brief second innings, taking 1-14 ahead of a day that is likely to see a bold declaration as the CSA players look to put themselves in the shop window with a strong finish to the match.
Pakistan, meanwhile, will be looking for valuable match practice with bat and ball ahead of the first Test on Boxing Day at Centurion.
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