Pakistan make solid start after South Africa reach 249

REUTERS - Pakistan's openers made their best start to a test innings in more than a year as they cruised to 77 without loss at lunch after bowling South Africa out early on the second day of the first test in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday.

Khurram Manzoor (41) and debutant Shan Masood (36) notched the first 50-run partnership by a Pakistani opening pair in 13 innings as they saw off the much-vaunted South African attack on an increasingly flattening pitch at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium.

Left hander Manzoor, in only his 10th test, was looking to dominate the bowlers as the two teams went to lunch while 23-year-old Masood hit a four off his first ball in test cricket and grew in confidence throughout the session.

Pakistan's last 50-run opening partnership came against Sri Lanka in Colombo in July last year.

Their brisk run rate of 3.50 contrasted dramatically with the difficulty South Africa had with the wicket on the opening day on Monday, when they averaged less than three runs per over after winning the toss and opting to bat first.

Resuming on 245 for eight, South Africa added just four runs to their overnight total in four overs as they lost their last two wickets cheaply

Hashim Amla, who had been the outstanding performer of the opening day, was out to the second ball of the morning, edging to slip for 118. It was the third wicket of the innings for giant seamer Mohammad Irfan (3-44).

(Reporting by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town; Editing by John O'Brien)

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