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SA duo start strongly in Karachi
27 Sep 2007
By: George Roberts

A 130-run third-wicket partnership of 130 between Hashim Amla and Jacques Kallis dominated the opening day of South Africa?s warm-up match against the Pakistan Cricket Board Patron?s XI.

Having been inserted in Karachi, the South African opening pairing of captain Graeme Smith and Herschelle Gibbs made slow progress throughout a first hour that yielded just 35 runs. After several close shouts for leg before, the breakthrough for the home side came with the introduction of legspinner Rizwan Ahmed ? a loose delivery down the legside prompted Smith to topple forward and left Sarfraz Ahmed to whip off the bails. Moments later, Gibbs too was back in the pavilion when he chopped ex-Pakistan seamer Junaid Zia to point.

Once Amla and Kallis had settled down together however, the combination of placid pitch and blazing heat took its toll on the Pakistani seamers and an ineffective spin attack was exposed. Boundaries flowed off Rizwan and the pair batted on unperturbed throughout much of the afternoon session, the only chance for the Patron?s XI coming via a pair of edges off Uzair-ul-Haq.

Anwar Ali ? who claimed figures of 5-35 in Pakistan?s incredible win in the Under 19 World Cup final against India in 2006 ? eventually snared Kallis, caught at midwicket for 73 from 105 balls. Once more, one wicket brought another for the home side, as Ashwell Prince was caught at bad-pade off Rizwan for just a single.

When Amla too fell, caught on the point boundary off Rizwan 13 shy of a hundred after facing 155 deliveries, South Africa were beginning to teeter slightly at 261-5. AB de Villiers and Mark Boucher made sure that there were no further mishaps before the close, batting out 16 overs to finish unbeaten on 48 and 14 respectively.

South Africa 294-5 (90)
Graeme Smith 20, Herschelle Gibbs 31, Hasim Amla 87, Jacques Kallis 73, AB de Villiers 48*
Rizwan Ahmed 3-90

Pakistan Cricket Board Patron?s XI

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