Imam, Haris steer Pakistan to victory in Tour warm-up

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Imam-ul-Haq and Haris Sohail hit half-centuries as the touring Pakistanis beat a South African Invitation XI by six wickets at Willowmoore Park on Friday.

Set to make 195 in approximately 50 overs, the tourists cruised home in 40.2 overs to complete a satisfactory workout in their only warm-up match ahead of the first Test starting at Centurion on Wednesday.

Earlier left-arm fast bowler Mohammad Amir, recalled to the Test squad, took three for 35 before the Invitation team declared their second innings on 182 for seven.

Most of Pakistan’s likely Test top order batsmen spent a reasonable amount of time at the crease over the course of their two innings. First innings centurions Azhar Ali and Babar Azam did not bat in the second innings.

Left-handers Imam and Haris batted fluently in a third-wicket partnership of 96 in 21.5 overs to set up the win. Imam made 66 off 93 balls, while Haris was unbeaten on 73 off 87 deliveries.

Fast bowler Mohammad Abbas, an injury doubt for the first Test, did not bowl in the match but leg-spinner Yasir Shah, who only joined the tour on Thursday following the birth of his child, sent down 11 overs and took one for 45 in the second innings.

The South African selectors, meanwhile, have added fast bowler Dane Paterson to their squad for the first Test with Vernon Philander ruled out because of a broken finger.

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