The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Pak 24 runs from win

Lahore: Pakistan were on the brink of only their second Test win over South Africa after spinner Danish Kaneria and strike bowler Shoaib Akhtar wrecked their batting on the fourth day of the first Test on Monday.

Pakistan were left on 137 for one, 24 runs short of what seems certain to be their first home win over the South Africans, after openers Taufeeq Umar (61 batting), and Imran Farhat (58) put on 134, their second century stand of the game, in 138 minutes.

They waded into a jaded South African attack with some explosive strokeplay before Farhat was caught by Herschelle Gibbs off occasional bowler and captain Graeme Smith as Pakistan tried to finish the match in failing light.

Play ended 4.4 overs early. Umar made 111 in the first innings.

South Africa, 81 behind after their first knock, saw their hopes of salvaging the game swept away by Shoaib and young leg spinner Kaneria in the first two sessions. Their last four wickets crumbled for four runs in 13 balls.

Kaneria, a 22-year-old from Karachi and the second Hindu to play for Pakistan, was virtually unplayable on a spinning track after lunch as he took four wickets and finished with five for 46 off 28.3 overs.

Before lunch Shoaib had sliced through the top order with three wickets in 18 balls, getting the key wickets of Boeta Dippenaar, Herschelle Gibbs and Jacques Kallis after South Africa resumed on 99 for one.

Gibbs and Kallis, television replays suggested, were both unlucky to be given out caught by Australian umpire Darrell Hair, the ball appearing to brush their shoulders.

But Shoaib was at his ferocious best before limping out of the game in his 15th over with a hamstring strain. He finished with four for 36.

Kaneria took over when South Africa resumed on 171 for five after lunch and was totally dominant, picking up the wickets of the three most experienced players in the South African line-up.

Having dismissed Mark Boucher, caught at short leg by Imran Farhat, Kaneria started the final slide by having Gary Kirsten caught at mid-on by his captain Yousuf Youhana and then bowling Shaun Pollock for 18.

Kirsten, who retired hurt in the first innings on 53 after being struck by a Shoaib bouncer, made 46 in just under two hours.

South Africa have won five of the teamsí nine previous Tests, with three draws.

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