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Younis and Akmal secure win
22 Jan 2007
By: Alex Crampton


South Africa fought hard, but after giving themselves help with early wickets, Pakistan's sixth wicket proved too elusive.

The batsmen who they were unable to remove were Younis Khan and Kamran Akmal, though not through lack of trying. On another day, things may have gone their way. Akmal squirted three early boundaries through the slip cordon, and Younis gave a difficult chance to Shaun Pollock on 5, which was put down.

They took their chances though. Younis was wonderfully composed as he so often is, and the South African bowlers lost the early penetration they had. Akmal was bombarded with short bowling, but coped with it well during his aggressive knock. He did flirt a little wildly outside off stump at times, but still managed to complete his fifth Test half century, brought up with a flurry of boundaries that took Pakistan to the brink. This innings redeems some of his below-par keeping during the match, but it is still an issue requiring plenty of attention.

Before all this though, South Africa's bowlers reduced Pakistan to 92-5 from an overnight eight without loss. Pollock and Ntini started with exemplary line and length bowling, to which Imran Farhat eventually cracked, slashing to slip. Poor calling sent Yasir Hameed on his way; he was run out attempting a single to cover.

South Africa did have some fortune themselves in the morning session. They were given two questionable lbw shouts. The first of these was Mohammad Hafeez for 32, though it looked to be sliding down the leg side. After Mohammad Yousuf was cramped for room and fenced to gully, Inzamam Ul-Haq became the second victim of an incorrect decision. Adjudged lbw off Makhaya Ntini, he was struck outside the line of off-stump while playing a shot.

Nevertheless, Pakistan completed a good victory to end an entertaining Test match. The scene is now set for an enthrallingly even finale to the series, though Shoaib Akhtar's hamstring injury will hinder the Pakistanis.

South Africa 124 and 331
Jacques Kallis 91, Mark Boucher 46
Mohammad Asif 5-76, Danish Kaneria 4-105

Pakistan 265 and 199-5
Younis Khan 65*, Kamran Akmal 59*

Pakistan win by five wickets

Cricket Web Man of the Match: Mohammad Asif

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