Elgar looks to important first hour on Day 2 to cap Proteas' impressive fightback

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Proteas opener Dean Elgar lifts his bat (Courtesy of Pakistan Cricket Board)
Proteas opener Dean Elgar lifts his bat (Courtesy of Pakistan Cricket Board)
Pakistan Cricket Board
  • Proteas opener Dean Elgar stated the first hour on day two of the first Test against Pakistan can be potentially decisive.
  • Elgar top-scored for South Africa on a day where starts were wasted in Karachi.
  • Elgar acknowledged that their total of 220 in the opening innings was "under-par".

Proteas opener Dean Elgar said the first hour of the second day of the first Test between South Africa and Pakistan in Karachi will go a long way in deciding the outcome of the game.

Elgar, who top-scored with 58 on a day where their batsmen failed to convert starts, stated on Tuesday that their bowlers had pulled them back into the game after a underwhelming batting display.

South Africa fell from 133/3 to 220 all out, but a hostile and incisive display of fast and spin bowling left Pakistan tottering at 33/4 at stumps on day one.

SCORECARD | Pakistan v Proteas, 1st Test

With the deficit at 187, Pakistan's best batsman in Babar Azam has already snared by Keshav Maharaj, the hosts are in a spot of bother.

The experienced Azhar Ali remained firm and was partnered by unconventional, but seasoned Fawad Alam as Pakistan were reduced to 33/4.

They still have to counterattack wicket-keeper Mohammad Rizwan to call on while Faheem Ashraf showed during Pakistan's tour of New Zealand that he's a dangerous customer.

"If we can emulate the way we started with the ball this evening where we knuckle down, we'll build a lot of pressure and have chances come our way. The game has sped up so quickly and the game has sped up because of the 14 wickets," Elgar said.

"Knowing the fast bowlers we have, they're going to bring the intensity. That's something they pride themselves on and work very hard on. That's how they've been preparing when they've bowled to us in the nets. We need to start well tomorrow, give them very few scoring options and keep the pressure on them."

Elgar admitted their first innings total was an indication of how they wasted their starts on a surface that started fairly but turned as the day progressed.

However, the true nature of the pitch still has to reveal itself as the sun-baked it undisturbed for the best part of the day.

"It's an under-par score. As a batter, if you apply yourself, you knuckle down and try to eliminate where the bowlers are trying to get you out. I still think 220 is under par," Elgar said.

"I had a feeling that we had to start well against the seamers because of the game slowing down because of the spinners. It was a good opportunity for us to score quickly and get some easier runs if I could say that.

One thing South Africa and Elgar did well, in particular, was to take the attack to Hassan Ali and Shaheen Shah Afridi.

The early loss of Aiden Markram and Rassie van der Dussen's peculiar run-out didn't stem Elgar's momentum.

Elgar said they needed to make the play before the spinners slowed the game down, which they did.

"There was a bit of risk to the nature of our play in the first hour, but as it worked out, we only lost one wicket and going into lunch, I thought we were in a good position. With the sub-continent having its tricks, we found ourselves five or six down after lunch," Elgar said

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