Younis Khan and Kamran Akmal's 99-run stand proves crucial

PORT ELIZABETH: Younis Khan and Kamran Akmal put on a 99-run unbroken stand on Monday to win the second Test by five wickets and tie the three-match series against South Africa at 1-1.

Coming together at 92 for five, Younis finished on 67 not out and Akmal hit nine boundaries in his unbeaten 57 on the fourth day at St. George's Park.

Resuming on eight for no loss, Pakistan stumbled to 48 for three.

Imran Farhat (7) was caught by Jacques Kallis in the slips off Makhaya Ntini and Yasir Hameed was run out by Andre Nel while going for an unlikely single.

Mohammad Hafeez (32) was out leg-before-wicket off a delivery from Shaun Pollock.

Stabilising

Younis Khan and Mohammad Yousuf stabilised the innings with a 30-run partnership as Pakistan scored 70 runs in the session off 26 overs to finish the morning session on 78 for three.

Nine runs later, Yousuf was caught by Herschelle Gibbs off the bowling of Pollock for 18.

Captain Inzamam-ul-Haq (1) was out leg before wicket to Ntini and it looked like South Africa just might clinch the Test.

But the stand between Younis and Akmal steered Pakistan to a series-levelling victory in just 19 overs. Pollock took two for 47 and Ntini finished with two for 50.

The third Test starts on Friday at Newlands in Cape Town.

Shoaib, Gul to return

Pakistan's injured pace duo Shoaib Akhtar and Umar Gul will miss the rest of the team's tour to undergo rehabilitation for the World Cup, a Pakistan official said in Karachi on Monday.

``The team management in South Africa have told us that both Akhtar and Gul need time to regain fitness so they are returning home and will undergo rehabilitation,'' Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) spokesman Ahsan Malik said.

No replacements

Malik said no replacements have been sought but two to three players would be sent to join the team ahead of the one-day series which starts next month. The 31-year-old Akhtar, only sent as a replacement for Gul earlier this month, tore a hamstring muscle on the first day of the second Test.

Akhtar made a triumphant return to Test cricket after almost a year, taking four for 36 to help Pakistan bowl out South Africa for 124 in the first innings but failed to bowl in the second innings.

A scan on Akhtar's injury revealed he needs two weeks' rest, said Malik.

``It is advisable for Akhtar to regain fitness in Pakistan before the World Cup in the West Indies which is just two months away,'' said Malik.

Reports said Akhtar is also feared to have a recurrence of a knee injury. He underwent twin knee operations in February last year which forced him out of Pakistan's tours of Sri Lanka and England.

The 23-year-old Gul twisted his ankle before a three-day warm up match in South Africa and has since failed to regain full fitness.

Malik said all-rounder Shoaib Malik would stay with the team as his ankle injury, which forced him to miss the Tests, is likely to heal before the five-match one-day series. Agencies

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