Classy Younus and Shafiq lead Pakistan recovery
Younus Khan and Asad Shafiq made fine centuries as Pakistan recovered from a poor start to reach 253 for five on the opening day of the second Test against South Africa at Newlands on Thursday.
Having been reduced to 33 for four before lunch, a 219-run fifth-wicket stand between Younus (111) and Shafiq (111 not out) made the South African bowlers toil in the sun after captain Graeme Smith had won the toss.
The hosts dismissed Younus shortly before the close to leave the match evenly poised.
Smith spoke had spoken about a “dangerous” Pakistan side and so it proved as Younus and Shafiq started watchfully before accelerating after tea.
Shafiq was dropped by Dean Elgar at short leg off spinner Robin Peterson when on just 24, but otherwise gave a chanceless performance in reaching his third Test century off 201 balls including 13 fours and a six.
The experienced Younus reached his hundred from 192 balls with six fours and three towering sixes off Peterson. It was his 21st in Tests and fourth against South Africa.
He was dismissed on review after an inside edge off Vernon Philander carried to wicketkeeper AB de Villiers.
Morne Morkel was the pick of the bowlers with two for 37 from his 16 overs and Philander took two for 45. Dale Steyn deserved more than his one for 34 as he went past the outside edge on numerous occasions.
It looked like it was going to be another batting disaster for Pakistan early on.
Nasir Jamshed (3) offered a catch to De Villiers with a loose front-foot drive off Philander, Mohammad Hafeez (17) tentatively pushing forward to a full ball from Steyn and Smith pouched the catch at first slip.
Morkel had Azhar Ali (4) caught behind by De Villiers and four balls later Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq fended a rising delivery into his ribs with his gloves and Elgar took the catch at short leg.
South Africa lead the three-match series 1-0 after a 211-run win in Johannesburg.