Benoni: Young batsmen Josh Richards and Marques Ackerman made the touring Pakistanis toil on the first day of a three-day match against a South African Invitation XI at Willowmoore Park on Wednesday.
Opening batsman Richards, who turns 20 on Thursday, failed by two runs to notch his fourth representative century in a row as he made 98, while Invitation team captain Ackerman, 22, scored 103 not out before declaring shortly before close of play. The tourists were two for no wicket at the close.
Richards came into the match on the back of two first-class centuries and one List A hundred for the Gauteng provincial team, which plays in South Africa’s secondary domestic competition.
He made 98 off 134 balls with 11 fours and a six before falling to part-time leg-spinner Azhar Ali. Ackerman made his runs off 132 balls with 14 fours and a six.
The Pakistanis used eight bowlers, with Ali and medium-pacer Faheem Ashraf both taking two wickets.
The match is not a first-class fixture because both teams can use up to 15 players, with 11 batting and 11 bowling.
Fast bowler Mohammad Abbas, expected to be a key figure in a three-match Test series starting on 26 December, did not bowl. He faces a struggle to be fit for the first Test in Centurion.
In head coach Rajput's absence, bowling coach Douglas Hondo would take charge of the team during the tour.
Haider, who made his T20 debut for Pakistan recently on the England tour and scored a blazing half century, said Rohit is a very accomplished player and there was no comparison with him.
The three T20Is, which were earlier scheduled at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore, will now be held at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium on 7, 8 and 10 November.