SA’s Petersen scores half-century in first Test
Dubai: Opener Alviro Petersen completed a confident half-century to lead South Africa to 101 for no loss at lunch on the opening day of the first Test against Pakistan here Friday.
The 29-year-old was unbeaten on 51 at the break, alongside skipper Graeme Smith on 48, as South Africa faced no problems against Pakistan bowling after winning the toss and electing to bat on a flat Dubai Stadium pitch.
Petersen, ruled not out by Australian umpire Daryl Harper when on nine after television replays showed he had edged paceman Umar Gul to debutant wicketkeeper Adnan Akmal, has hit eight boundaries in his second Test 50.
Smith, initially a little shaky, has hit just one boundary.
Pakistan, seeking their first series win in four years, started the match on the wrong note when their most experienced batsman Mohammad Yousuf, was ruled out of the match with a recurring groin injury minutes before the toss.
That forced Pakistan to include Umar Akmal in the squad as they went in with two spinners, Abdul Rehman and Saeed Ajmal, and two seamers, Gul and Wahab Riaz.
South Africa, who won the preceding Twenty20 series 2-0 and one-dayers 3-2, also included both their spinners Johan Botha and Paul Harris, with Jacques Kallis giving them an additional option in fast bowling.
Pakistan handed a Test cap to wicketkeeper Adnan Akmal after Zulqarnain Haider fled to London on Monday, saying he had received death threats.
Pakistan introduced spin in the 10th over when left-arm spinner Rehman came on to bowl, but both Petersen and Smith negotiated him without any trouble.