Sharjah - Opener Ahmed Shahzad has brightened his chances for a Test place with a
solid half-century as Pakistan 'A' batsmen matched the Proteas in the
tour game in Sharjah on Wednesday.
The 21-year-old, vying for a place
in the first of two Tests starting in Abu Dhabi from Monday, hit 66 in a
Pakistan 'A' score of 230-4 in reply to the Proteas' 354-8 declared
on the second day of the three-day match at Sharjah stadium.
Pakistan needs to select three players from this tour match to add to the 12-man squad announced for the two-Test series.
The second Test starts in Dubai from October 23.
Shahzad's rival for the opening slot, Shan Masood, also scored an
attractive 50 in a stand of 106 for the first wicket before both retired
to allow others a chance to gain practice.
Ahmed has played 27 one-day and 15 Twenty20 for Pakistan since 2009 and is tipped to make his Test debut in Abu Dhabi.
The Proteas' four-pronged pace attack led by world's best Test bowler Dale
Steyn toiled hard in the heat.
Of the pacemen only Morné Morkel managed a
Steyn and fellow new ball partner Vernon Philander
bowled 26 overs between them but were unable to separate the Pakistan
Pakistan's one drop batsman Azhar Ali also notched a
sedate 54 while Asad Shafiq, also fighting to keep his Test place, was
unbeaten on 32 at stumps.
Spinners Robin Peterson
(1-42) and Imran Tahir (0-34) bowled tight but failed to extract much
spin out of the pitch.
The two-Test series is expected to be
dominated by spinners, with Pakistan likely to enter the first Test with
off-spinner Saeed Ajmal and two left-armers in Abdur Rehman and
South Africa - 354-8 (J. Kallis 70, A. Petersen 58, AB de Villiers 58, Hashim Amla 50, JP Duminy 49)
Pakistan 'A' - 230-4 (Ahmed Shahzad 66, Azhar Ali 54, Shan Masood 50)