Proteas bring out the big guns

2013-02-02 13:08

South Africa: 253 all out (Kallis 50, Du Plessis 41, De Villiers 31, Mohammad Hafeez 4/16, Junaid Khan 2/33, Umar Gul 2/56)

Pakistan: 40/7 (Azhar Ali 13, Misbah-ul-Haq 12, Steyn 3/8, Philander 2/7, Kallis 2/11)

Pakistan trail by 213 runs

South Africa’s potent bowling attack ensured Pakistan’s first day gains were rendered impotent.

South Africa needed to take early wickets after day one’s unflattering performance with the bat. Faf du Plessis did say the pitch did not make for easy batting, but after the fun and games Pakistan had, it was an open secret the Proteas were going to have to mete out quick retribution.

Credit is due to South Africa’s patience and discipline, but the decision making in regards to some of the Pakistan shot selection left a lot to be desired.

South Africa gained the early initiative through Dale Steyn, who bowled at a quicker gallop than he did in his solitary over before the end of the first day’s play.

Steyn’s booming out swingers, aided by a new ball and a fuller length, saw Mohammad Hafeez nicking off to AB de Villiers, who was to have a busy morning.

Nasir Jamshed looked comfortable with anything wide outside offstump, but when it came back into his pads, it was a different story.

After surviving a referred Vernon Philander leg before review, which showed to be missing leg stump, Steyn trapped him plumb in front and not even a review could save him.

It became 12/3 when Younus Khan, who did not trouble the scorers, edged Steyn to Graeme Smith at first slip. Suddenly, South Africa’s slow going and application in the same session on day one became very profound.

Azhar Ali and Misbah-ul-Haq tried to steady the ship, but with the pitch showing an increase in bounce and pace, batting became difficult. Ali was out to a snorter of a delivery from Jacques Kallis, which reared from short of a length. It gave Ali no time to evade it.

Misbah and Asad Shafiq (1) were guilty of lazy wafts outside offstump when the task was to resurrect the Pakistan innings. Misbah’s dismissal, which was referred, was tainted in controversy with hotspot not showing a clear nick.

It was a case of an umpire using his cricket judgment and only Steve Davis can explain why he overruled Billy Bowden. Similar Pakistani appeals on day one where not given out.

Umar Gul (0) showed that number eight was a position too high when his attempted slash off Philander went only as far as Smith at first slip.

The back of the Pakistani batting has been broken and the only question that remains is that of the follow on should South Africa bowl Pakistan out for under 54.

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