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South Africa want to keep Pak on the mat

AFP
Nov 19, 2010 at 04:56pm IST

Abu Dhabi: South African captain Graeme Smith said he would like to end the tour with a clean sweep in all three formats of the game as they take on Pakistan in the second Test starting from Saturday.

South Africa beat Pakistan in both the Twenty20 matches and took the five-match one-day series 3-2 on the tour shifted to United Arab Emirates because of security fears in Pakistan.

Pakistan escaped with a draw in the first Test in Dubai on Tuesday after Younis Khan notched a fighting unbeaten century and skipper Misbah-ul-Haq scored 76 not out after South Africa set them a challenging 451-run target.

South Africa want to keep Pak on the mat

South Africa beat Pakistan in both the Twenty20 matches and took the five-match one-day series 3-2.

Smith said his team would love to win the second Test - the first-ever in Abu Dhabi Stadium, which like Dubai has become Pakistan's neutral venue.

"For us, it has been a successful tour in terms of the end results and we would love to add Test series to that before playing India," said Smith whose number two Test ranked team hosts number one India next month.

Smith conceded the pitch laid for the second Test looks like the same as in Dubai.

"It's difficult to say how the pitch will behave but it looks similar to Dubai, maybe a few more cracks in the heat might open up a bit and help bowlers," said Smith of the pitch which has tinge of grass.

Smith accepted dropping three crucial catches - two off Younis - on the final day of the first Test was a concern. "I think when you do it, it's always such a shock, especially when we have been so consistent in that area of the game and that is one of the reasons why we have been successful in Test cricket.

"You can't afford to give good players lives because they make it count as Younis did. The guys are working on that and hopefully in this Test match, we are more precise in that area," said Smith.

Asked about the team composition, Smith replied "a team which you think can utilise the conditions and win the game for us," hinting at an unchanged squad.

Pakistan are likely to drop batsman Umar Akmal - penalised for his rash shot at Dubai - and give Test debut to Asad Shafiq. Also expected to make his belated debut is paceman Tanveer Ahmed, in place of injured Wahab Riaz.

Misbah said Pakistan wanted to build on the confidence gained in the first Test. "In cricket, you need confidence and at this point of time, our confidence is high after drawing the first Test, especially batting was our problem but all batsmen did well in the first Test," said Misbah.

Misbah accepted not winning a Test series since beating the West Indies at home in 2006 is a motivation for his team.

"At the back of the mind, you have all these facts and we are getting motovation from that and want to win the series," said Misbah of the Pakistan team which had won only one series against South Africa in six attempts.

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