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Cricket-Amla to miss test while Steyn faces fitness examination

Reuters

CAPE TOWN, Oct 22 (Reuters) - South Africa's top-ranked batsman Hashim Amla will miss the second test against Pakistan in Dubai to stay at home for the birth of his second child while strike bowler Dale Steyn faces a late fitness test, Cricket South Africa said on Tuesday.

Amla, who last week retained his place at the top of the individual test batting rankings, played in last week's first test in Abu Dhabi but flew home on Friday for the impending birth.

Team officials had hoped the baby would arrive over the weekend to allow Amla, who scored a century in the first innings, to rejoin his team mates in the United Arab Emirates for the second test, which starts on Wednesday.

"Hashim's wife hasn't given birth yet, so he won't be playing in tomorrow's test," South African team manager Mohamed Moosajee said.

Steyn faces a late test of his fitness after a hamstring scare in the nets on Monday.

"Dale sustained what was initially thought to be a right hamstring strain but fortunately the MRI scan revealed that there was no major pathology so we are treating it as tightness," Moosajee added in a statement.

"He will undergo a fitness test. The challenge with a tight hamstring is the fear of aggravating it. It could easily become a strain or progress into a tear, so we will be managing it carefully."

South Africa are likely to replace Amla with left-hander Dean Elgar and have Rory Kleinveldt on standby should Steyn fail the test.

Pakistan lead the two-match series after a seven-wicket win last week. (Reporting by Mark Gleeson; Editing by Clare Fallon)

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