BENOI - 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.

CSA XI’s N Brand’s 71 runs innings was the highlight of the otherwise shabby innings from the hosts as they failed to match up their first innings heroics against Pakistanis.

Pakistan’s premier left-arm pacer M Amir took three wickets for 35 runs, a positive sign for the visitors. Leg-spinner also Yasir Shah also got chance to flex his muscles and took one wicket for 45 runs in 11 overs. Mohammad Abbas kept on missing from the bowling though he passed some time in the field. CSA XI declared their innigs for 182 setting a target of 195 for the visitors.

Pakistan opener Imam showed signs of regained form as he played a fluent 66 runs innings before getting stumped out after missing a delivery of K Simmonds. Haris however kept his cool and led Pakistan to a victory. He remained unbeaten on 73.   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.






(OVERNIGHT: 42-1):

N Brand c Asad b Amir 71

J Richards b Amir 8

T Dithole run out 15

M Breetzke c Faheem b Amir 1

M Ackerman c Babar b Azhar 32

O Nyaku c Haris b Yasir 37

R Moonsamy not out 10

K Simmonds b Shaheen Afridi 4

EXTRAS: (b4) 4

TOTAL: (7 wkts; 50.3 overs) 182 decl

FOW: 1-13, 2-60, 3-62, 4-108, 5-155, 6-169, 7-182

BOWLING: M Amir 12-2-35-3, Shaheen Afridi 10.3-1-39-1, Faheem Ashraf 5-1-18-0, Hasan Ali 8-2-23-0, Yasir Shah 11-2-45-1, Azhar Ali 4-0-18-1


Imam-ul-Haq st Moonsamy b Simmonds 66

Shan Masood c Dithole b Mnyaka 24

Fakhar Zaman c Nyaku b Simmonds 18

Haris Sohail not out 73

Faheem Ashraf c Cartwright b Brand 7

M Rizwan not out 4

EXTRAS: (b2, w1) 3

TOTAL: (4 wkts; 40.2 overs) 195

FOW: 1-42, 2-68, 3-164, 4-183

BOWLING: R Trumpelmann 5-1-22-0, T Mnyaka 4-1-20-1, K Simmonds 16-2-79-2, R Cartwright 3-0-17-0, M Ackerman 7-0-22-0, N Brand 5.2-0-33-1

TOSS: CSA Invitation XI

UMPIRES: Adrian Holdstock, Shaun George

MATCH REFEREE: Tiffie Barnes