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Johannesburg Test: Misbah and Shafiq Fighting Hard

Posted on the 03 February 2013 by Azharnadeem

Misbah-ul-HaqSkipper Mishab-ul-Haq and Asad Shafiq shared an unbroken 108-run stand to put South Africa’s victory bids in the first Test at Johannesburg at bay.

After Pakistan slumped to 70-4 following another collapse in the top-order, Misbah (44 not out) and Shafiq  (53 not out), drove up the tourists to 183-4 at the stumps of day 3.

Earlier South Africa, who managed 239 runs in their first innings before bowling out Pakistan for their lowest ever score of 43, declared their second innings for 275-3 upon the completion of AB de Villiers’ century.

De Villiers was unbeaten at 103 alongside Hashim Amla (74), with whom an unbroken 176-run stand for fourth wicket when Graeme Smith, playing his 100th Test as captain, summoned his batsmen to the dressing room midway the morning session.

In purist of formidable 485-run target, Pakistan lost opener Mohammad Hafeez (2) in the fourth over, caught by de Villiers behind stumps off Vernon Philander.

Debutant Nasir Jamshed (46) and Azhar Ali (18) steadied the innings with a 57-run stand before Proteas hit back to remove both in quick-succession.

Jamshed, who hit eight boundaries in his 65-ball knock, spooned a catch to Robin Petersen off Dale Steyn, who destroyed the Pakistani batting line by claiming six wickets for eight runs, before Jacques Kallis snared Ali in front of stumps.

The tourists had not yet recovered from the back-to-back blows when pacer Morne Morkel sprinkled more salt on their wounds by edging Younis Khan (15) to de Villiers cheaply.

Misbah and Azhar then launched a strong recovery and defied the negotiated with the home bowling attack sagaciously. Shafiq’s so far 155-ball knock has seen nine boundaries while Misbah has hit seven fours in his patient 148-ball vigil.

Earlier, resuming the day at 207-3, well-set de Villiers and Amla added 47 runs to the total before the declaration came.

De Villiers brought up his 15th Test hundred by cracking a boundary off Umar Gul at covers.

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