Pakistan v South Africa: Misbah-ul-Haq leads hosts to victory

Pakistan v South Africa: Misbah-ul-Haq leads hosts to victory

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First Test, Abu Dhabi (day four)
Pakistan 442 & 45-3 beat South Africa 249 & 232 by seven wickets
Match scorecard
Pakistan ended South Africa’s 15-match unbeaten run with a seven-wicket victory in the first Test in Abu Dhabi.Chasing 40 to beat the world number one side on day four, Pakistan wobbled on 7-3 before completing only a fourth ever victory over the Proteas.
South Africa had previously been bowled out for 249 and 232, either side of centuries from Khurram Manzoor and Misbah-ul-Haq taking Pakistan to 442.
In their last Test match, Pakistan lost by 24 runs to Zimbabwe.
Misbah’s side had also been whitewashed 3-0 in South Africa in February, but they continued a fine run of form in the United Arab Emirates – their adopted home after a terrorist attack on the Sri Lanka team in Lahore in 2009.
Since then, Pakistan are unbeaten in nine matches in the UAE – a streak that includes the 3-0 whitewash of England in 2012.
Victory over the Proteas was delayed by the efforts of AB De Villiers and Robin Peterson, who at least ensured Graeme Smith’s side avoided an innings defeat.
The tourists began the final day on 72-4 – still 121 short of making Pakistan bat again – and slipped further into trouble at 133-6 when Faf du Plessis drilled at off-spinner Saeed Ajmal, who took a fine return catch.
De Villiers, though, found an ally in Peterson for a busy stand of 57, only for the wicketkeeper to fall 10 short of a century, driving Junaid Khan to Shan Masood Khan.
Peterson’s defiance continued, but with Ajmal wrapping up the tail for four wickets in the innings and seven in the match, Pakistan were facing a meagre target.
They stumbled as Vernon Philander and Dale Steyn tore through the top three, but Misbah, supported by Younus Khan, led his side to victory on 28 not out, sealing the win by hitting Peterson for six.
Pakistan lead the two-Test series 1-0, with the second match beginning in Dubai on Wednesday. BBC Sport
Roy Hodgson: Football Association backs England manager
The Football Association has given its “full support” to Roy Hodgson after claims a comment made in a team-talk by the England manager caused offence.
Hodgson was criticised for referring to a joke about a monkey and an astronaut at half-time in Tuesday’s World Cup qualifier against Poland.
“He has and deserves the full support of the Football Association,” FA chairman Greg Dyke said.
Anti-racism campaigners Kick It Out praised the FA’s “swift” response.
It had called for an investigation into Hodgson’s comments but, after the FA confirmed it had not received any complaints from the England players, it now considered the matter closed.
A Kick It Out statement read: “We are pleased that the Football Association has investigated this matter swiftly and issued its findings immediately.
“If there has been no complaint on the back of the investigation then the matter can only be deemed as concluded.
“Kick It Out acts on behalf of the football community at large and when an allegation of a racist or discriminatory nature is made, it’s the organisation’s role to follow this up.”
Hodgson was reported  to have made the comments when trying to explain to right-back Chris Smalling that he needed to pass the ball to winger Andros Townsend more.
The England manager later apologised and Townsend, 22, tweeted:  “I don’t know what all this fuss is about. No offence was meant and none was taken!”
Dyke added: “Roy Hodgson is a man of the highest integrity, an honourable man who is doing a great job with the England team.
“He has fully explained to us what he said and the point he was making to the players in the dressing room at half-time on Tuesday night. He has also explained the context in which he made his remarks.
“He has made clear there was no intent to say anything inappropriate, and he was certainly not making any comments with any racist connotation. Importantly, he has apologised for any unintended offence that may have been taken.
“We will be making no further comment on this story and will now be giving Roy and the team our full support as we prepare for the World Cup in Brazil.”
England striker Wayne Rooney also showed his support for 66-year-old Hodgson on Twitter,  and via his personal website:  “To be honest it’s really annoying that something such as this should see the light of day.
“All the lads know what type of guy Roy is, and to try and pin some form of label on him is absolutely ridiculous. Roy spoke to Andros straight away, and he took no offence whatsoever. Hopefully that’s now the end of the matter.”
Former England striker Stan Collymore, 42, also defended the former Fulham and West Brom boss on Twitter,  suggesting the row undermines moves to eradicate racism from the sport.
“Demeans every anti-racism campaigner by having cheap pop at RH [Roy Hodgson] who said nothing wrong. Makes campaigners seem over-PC and petty. They’re not,” he said.
However, Piara Powar, executive director of Football Against Racism in Europe (Fare), told the BBC that Hodgson had got it wrong.
“This was a silly phrase to use in a diverse workforce,” said Powar.
“I think some players will see it as a reflection of the type of language still used by some coaches and some attitudes that still prevail.” – BBC sport

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