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 Which two batsmen hold the record for the highest ninth-wicket partnership in Tests?
(31 October 2001)

It was the first innings of the first of three Tests between South Africa and Pakistan in 1998. South Africa were in some strife at Johannesburg after Pakistan captain Aamir Sohail won the toss and asked them to bat. Great bowling from Waqar Younis and Mushtaq Ahmed had reduced the home team to 166-8 when Pat Symcox strode out to join Mark Boucher, the South African wicket-keeper who was playing only his second Test.

Good old Pat, by that time, had long been recognised as a useful batsman. In fact, in the previous Test between the two sides at Faisalabad, he had stroked his way to an aggressive 81. On February 14, 1998, though, he was to lay the platform for an even finer batting exploit. With Boucher playing a steady hand, Symcox blazed away at the other end, reaching 77 at stumps on the first day as South Africa recovered to 296-8.

The first few overs of the next day saw Boucher and Symcox overhaul the 63-year-old South African record for the ninth wicket established by Chud Langton and Eric Dalton at The Oval. Dalton made a hundred then against an attack that included Bill Bowes and Wally Hammond, and the duo put on 137 runs.

On the occasion under discussion, too, it was the spinner who made a century; Symcox reached 108 before getting out. By then, he and Boucher had also gone past the previous world-record partnership for the ninth wicket - 190 between Pakistan's Asif Iqbal and Intikhab Alam. Boucher followed him to the pavilion soon, out for a patient 78. South Africa were bowled out for 364 - a laudable total, considering the circumstances.

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