That is how you have to play Tests, says Shafiq

ABU DHABI - It has been about debutants so far in this second Test. After quickie Tanvir Ahmed returned with six wickets on the first day, another debutant Asad Shafiq came up with a resolute innings to deny South Africa the chink they were looking for.

By James Jose

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Published: Tue 23 Nov 2010, 12:00 AM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 2:49 AM

The 24-year-old from Karachi fired a 118-ball 61 with 10 boundaries as Pakistan ended stumps on day three on Monday on 317 for six. Misbah is at the crease on 77 and Abdur Rehman yet to open his account.

They trail by 267 runs and still need 68 to avoid the follow-on.

Pakistan had resumed on 59 for one with overnight batsmen Azhar Ali on 34 and opener Taufeeq Umar on 16. The duo saw off the tricky morning at the Shaikh Zayed International Cricket Stadium with a crucial 117-run stand for the second wicket.

“I was a bit nervous at the start. But, after three or four overs, I felt comfortable,” Shafiq said after the day’s play.

“That is how you have to play Tests. You have to play hard. The wicket was very, very good to bat on. But it was a little difficult with the new ball,” he said.

Shafiq had a great opportunity to convert it to a hundred but missed out. “This was a good chance but unfortunately, I didn’t make it. I could have got a hundred but I am happy with the debut score,” said Shafiq, who dedicated this knock to his family.

Shafiq said that he had gained confidence after featuring in the ODI segment of the tour. “I was confident as I had played against them in the recent ODI series. The team was also in need of a good score. So, I kept this in mind,” he said.

About his innings, Shafiq said: “My coach and captain asked me to just play my natural game. That is why I played some shots early on and carried on.”

Pakistan still aren’t out of danger yet but Shafiq was optimistic about a good showing on the fourth day on Tuesday. “We can put up a good show and depending on what path the match takes, we will know tomorrow,” he said and added: “Misbah has played well and hopefully he will continue to do so.”

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