Sharjah: Pakistan A opening batsmen Ahmed Shehzad and Shaan Masood staked their claims for next week's first test against South Africa by scoring solid half centuries against the Proteas in the warmup match on Wednesday.
Shehzad notched an attacking 66 with 10 fours while Masood batted confidently against seam and spin before retiring on 50 off 140 balls. Pakistan A finished the second day of the three-day game on 230-4 after South Africa declared its first innings at 354-8.
Pakistan selectors left the second opening slot vacant while naming a 12-man squad for Monday's first test, and either Shehzad or Masood will get the nod to partner Khurram Manzoor at Abu Dhabi.
Asad Shafiq, who will likely play in the middle order in the first test, was unbeaten on 32.
Resuming at the overnight 332-5, South Africa added 22 before its bowlers were exposed in the heat to get used to the conditions expected in the two-test series.
Left-arm spinner Robin Petersen got the only breakthrough until tea when Shehzad offered a simple catch to midwicket.
Shehzad showed lot of aggression against Imran Tahir when he lofted the legspinner for three boundaries in the second over before he was dismissed by Petersen in the next over.
Pakistan's test No. 3, Azhar Ali, also got much needed practice by scoring 54 off 109 balls before he retired, too.
Faisal Iqbal, nephew of Pakistan's former captain and coach, Javed Miandad, could not impress selectors for a test recall after three years when he was caught by Graeme Smith off medium fast bowler Morne Morkel after scoring only 10.