Hard work pays off for Manzoor

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Opener Khurram Manzoor emerged the proud recipient of the Man of the Match award, after Pakistan upstaged South Africa by seven wickets on day four of the first Test at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Thursday.

Opener Khurram Manzoor emerged the proud recipient of the Man of the Match award, after Pakistan upstaged South Africa by seven wickets on day four of the first Test at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Thursday.

Manzoor's 146, 15 boundaries included, stood at the fore of first-innings total of 442 all out. Captain Misbah-ul-Haq and debutant Shan Masood, meanwhile, weighed in with 100 and 75 respectively. Middle-order batsman Asad Shafiq, too, scored a half-ton.

The Proteas were largely inadequate with the bat, falling to 249 all out and 232 all out. While the in-form Hashim Amla enjoyed a century and wicketkeeper-batsman AB de Villiers managed 90, complementary support was severely lacking.

"I was a bit tense until the match finished, but I am happy that we won it in the end. I have worked hard with the coach, focused on domestic cricket, and I have been working on my fitness as well. The hard work is now paying off," said Manzoor.

The right-handed Manzoor delighted in a fruitful opening stand in the first innings with Masood, who entirely justified selection ahead of the ousted Mohammad Hafeez. The pair added 135, defying an opposition pace attack lined with the services of the dangerous Dale Steyn and Vernon Philander.

"I and Shan play quite a lot together, so we have good communication. In fact, I was getting more confidence from watching Shan play. It was really good that we did what we did," he concluded.

The second and final Test will get underway at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Wednesday.

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