The show is about to begin

The Venue for the match
The first cricket test between Pakistan and South Africa is about to start in a few moments of time. Pakistan arrived at South Africa on 6th January and have played a warm up game against the South African cricket board 11 which ended in a draw. Pakistan looked good in the toor opener as both of their openers Muhammad Hafeez and Imran Farhat scored delightful hundreds besides the impressive bowling performance of Shahid Nazir who got a five wicket haul in the second board elevn innings. The happy moments from the side match apart, Pakistan are carrying some concerns going into the first Test without thier best fast bowler for the last six months Umer Gul unfit due to a knee problem and the last year’s record runs scorer Muhammad Yousaf unavailable accompanying his ill wife having a complicated pregnancy. The initially described unfit Shoaib Akhter is being sent to South Africa as a cover for Umer Gul but his inclusion in the first test is unlikely as he will be jetlagged after the lengthy flight across the continent and will surely be short of practice. The bouncy tracks of South Africa will be tough and challenging for the Pakistani batsmen who find it difficult to tackle the balls rising above the waist and chest area. It will also be a come back match for the talented Muhammad Asif who has had his one year ban overturned by the tribunal set up by PCB. Initially he was banned from taking part in international cricket by a committee after he was found guility of taking performance enhancing steroids. All in all it might prove to be a good contest as the South African are having a problem or two of their own. South Africans wouldn’t find it easy to face the battery of Pakistani pacers who will fancy their chances on those green topped juicy wickets which they don’t normally get in the sub continent.

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