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Thursday, February 26, 1998 Published at 22:17 GMT

Sport: Cricket

Azhar's ton rescues Pakistan
image: [ South African bowlers like Fanie de Villiers could not stop Azhar Mahmood scoring 132 ]
South African bowlers like Fanie de Villiers could not stop Azhar Mahmood scoring 132

Rising star Azhar Mahmood rescued Pakistan with his third successive first class century to score almost half of the touring side's total.

The 22-year-old sensation, who has averaged 90 from his first eight internationals, scored 132 of Pakistan's total of 259 against South Africa.

And his dominance of the match continued when South Africa took to the crease - he held a diving catch at gully as Gary Kirsten was dismissed for a duck.

South Africa were 23-1 at the close of play on the first day of the second Test in Durban.

All-rounder Azhar is fast becoming the hero of Pakistan's South Africa tour. In the first Test he scored 138 and against Free State he recorded 111.

Explosion of shots

His magnificent stand pulled Pakistan round as they looked in danger of collapsing at 89-5.

Azhar's best period was a ninth-wicket stand of 80 with Shoaib Akhtar in which he made 71 and Shoaib just six.

He started his innings cautiously before breaking into an explosion of devastating shots.

Lofted cover drives and deliberate shots over the slips to third man resulted in 62 of Azhar's runs being scored between cover point and the wicketkeeper.

His half-century came from 75 balls with 11 boundaries. His second 50 came from just 47 more with a further eight fours.

By the time he was last out, bowled off an inside edge by Allan Donald, his 132 contained 24 fours.

Kirsten's wicket gave 19-year-old Fazal-e-Akbar his first victim with only his sixth ball in Test cricket.

Bad light, which had threatened the game for most of the afternoon eventually stopped play eight overs early.


Pakistan First Innings:

  • Saaed Anwar lbw b Donald 43
  • Aamir Sohail c Boucher b Pollock 17
  • Ijaz Ahmed c de Villiers b Pollock 2
  • Mohammad Wasim c Kallis b Donald 12
  • Yousaf Youhana c Boucher b Donald 5
  • Moin Khan c Donald b de Villiers 25
  • Azhar Mahmood b Donald 132
  • Mushtaq Ahmed c Kallis b Klusener 2
  • Waqar Younis c Hudson b Donald 6
  • Shoaib Akhtar c Boucher b Klusener 6
  • Fazl-e-Akbar not out 0

    Extras (2b, 1lb, 2w, 4nb) 9

    Total (all out, 73.2 overs) 259

    Fall: 1-35, 2-37, 3-70, 4-82, 5-89, 6-127, 7-142, 8-153, 9-233

    Bowling: Donald 19.2-4-79-5, de Villiers 18-5-55-1, Pollock 18-3-55-2, Klusener 18-3-67-2

    South Africa First Innings:

  • A M Bacher not out 14
  • G Kirsten c Azhar Mahmood b Fazl-e-Akbar 0
  • J H Kallis not out 7

    Extras (2nb) 2

    Total (1 wickets, 6 overs) 23

    Fall: 1-4

    Bowling: Younis 3-0-17-0, Fazl-e-Akbar 2-0-3-1, Akhtar 1-0-3-0

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