Proteas

Pakistan's Yasir Shar on Aiden Markram's innings: 'I appreciate how well he played'

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Aiden Markram. (Photo by Asif Hassan/AFP)
Aiden Markram. (Photo by Asif Hassan/AFP)
  • Pakistan's leg-spinner Yasir Shah started the collapse that saw South Africa lose three quick wickets.
  • He dismissed Rassie van der Dussen and Faf du Plessis in quick succession.
  • Shah lauded Markram, who scored his first half-century in Asia.

Pakistani leg-spinner Yasir Shah was identified as a threat by Proteas middle-order batsman Faf du Plessis.

In the last 30 minutes of the third evening of the first Test between South Africa and Pakistan, he emerged as one when he got rid of Rassie van der Dussen and Du Plessis in quick succession to help catalyse a collapse that saw South Africa slip from 175/1 to 187/4.

In dismissing Du Plessis twice in the game, Pakistan's best bowler was tasked with dealing with SA's most experienced middle-order batsman and did so effectively.

The second innings dismissal was probably more significant in that had Du Plessis survived the tricky spell, he would've gained immeasurable confidence even though his Asian record isn't worth losing sleep over.

578 runs in 27 innings with three 50s and a highest score of 80 isn't scary and so it proved for Pakistan in their battle against Du Plessis.

A rock they battled to shift, but did so eventually, was Aiden Markram, who set out his stall with a 224-ball 74 which went a long way to settling doubts about his ability on the subcontinent.

Shah, who is the quickest to 200 Test wickets in terms of Tests needed to get to the mark (33 Tests), said Markram's combating of spin has improved.

Markram's Asian record (171 runs in 10 innings at 17.10) was also nothing to write home about but was well boosted by his first half-century on the continent.

"He played well against us even though the wickets didn't turn much in South Africa. He's played very well in this game, especially against the spinners. I appreciate how well he played," Shah said.

What of Pakistan's chances of winning the Test after the collapse he and Nauman Ali instigated? Shah said they pressed all the right buttons to put themselves into a dominant position.

"We've dominated the match and our bowlers have done well. Nauman also bowled well, but this was our plan to bowl wicket-to-wicket as the pitch was slow. We needed to contain, which we did with success. That's why we got the late wickets," Shah said.

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