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Younis Khan (C) celebrates with teammates after taking the wicket of Hashim Amla -Photo by Reuters

JOHANNESBURG: Pakistan’s bowlers spoiled Graeme Smith's big day as South Africa were bowled out for 253 on the first day of the first Test against Pakistan at the Wanderers Stadium on Friday.


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South Africa were dismissed after Smith, celebrating 100 Tests as captain and his 32nd birthday, won the toss and decided to bat in what were always likely to be challenging conditions on a pitch with pace and bounce.

Pakistan survived two overs at the end of the day, finishing on six for no wicket.

The South African batsmen did well enough against Pakistan's front line bowlers, but lost five wickets to part-timers Younis Khan and Mohammad Hafeez and another to a run-out.

Younis took only his eighth wicket in an 80-Test career to dismiss Hashim Amla with his third delivery of the match, while off-spinner Hafeez did even better, taking four for 16 after only being introduced in the 71st over.

Hafeez, who had taken 29 wickets in 29 Tests before Friday, had AB de Villiers caught behind off his first ball.

Remarkably, Hafeez was given the second new ball and struck again four balls later when Robin Peterson padded up and was bowled by a straight delivery.

He then had Dean Elgar caught behind playing down the legside and wrapped up the innings by bowling Morne Morkel.

The other four wickets fell in more conventional fashion, with opening bowlers Umar Gul and Junaid Khan taking two each.

South Africa's last five wickets fell for 21 runs.

“It was not the easiest pitch to score on,” said South African batsman Faf du Plessis.

“There was movement for the seam bowlers and the ball was holding up a bit. For a day one pitch there was a lot happening out there. Looking at the cracks on the pitch there are good signs for us.”

Hafeez gave credit to the other bowlers who he said had kept the pressure on the South African batsmen throughout the day.

“It was a team effort. We showed good discipline with the ball,” he said.

Of the decision for him to bowl with the second new ball, Hafeez pointed out that he had often bowled with the new ball in one-day matches and occasionally in Test matches.

“There were some left-handers around so we decided to try a few balls and see what happened.”

The build-up to the match was dominated by Smith's feat of becoming the first player in history to achieve 100 captaincies.

But he did not have long to dwell on the landmark as he and Alviro Petersen had to survive some accurate, hostile bowling from Junaid and Gul.

Smith and Petersen saw off the initial threat but a switch of ends brought the wickets of both openers.

The left-armed Junaid squared up Petersen and had him caught at third slip for 20 with the total on 46. Four balls later, without addition to the score, Smith was caught behind for 24 when he tried to work Gul to the leg side.

Jacques Kallis hit 50 in a third wicket stand of 79 with Amla before he mistimed a pull against Gul and fell to a superb diving catch by Asad Shafiq at deep midwicket.

With Junaid and Gul having had a heavy workload, Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq brought on Younis Khan to bowl his occasional medium-pacers.

Amla slashed hard at Younis' third ball and Azhar Ali took a blinding catch at gully, prompting joyous celebrations from the Pakistan players.

Kallis looked in fine form before his dismissal, hitting nine fours during a 78-ball innings, while Amla was content to play a supporting role.

Amla made 37 off 67 balls with six fours.

De Villiers and du Plessis put on 64 for the fifth wicket with watchful batting.

But De Villiers pushed at a straight ball from Hafeez to be caught behind by wicketkeeper Sarfraz Ahmed for 31.

Du Plessis made 41 before he played a forward defensive stroke against Junaid and the ball bounced back off the pitch to hit his stumps.

Hafeez then made superb use of the new ball, while Pakistan were helped by a mix-up which led to the run-out of Vernon Philander.


South Africa: Graeme Smith (captain), Hashim Amla, AB de Villiers, Faf du Plessis, Dean Elgar, Jacques Kallis, Morne Morkel, Alviro Petersen, Robin Peterson, Vernon Philander, Dale Steyn

Pakistan: Misbah-ul-Haq (captain), Asad Shafiq, Azhar Ali, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Hafeez, Nasir Jamshed, Rahat Ali, Saeed Ajmal, Sarfraz Ahmed, Umar Gul, Younis Khan

Comments (15) Closed

No tolerence Feb 01, 2013 10:46am
Rahat Ali looks too ordinary. Pakistan needs quality bowlers/batsmen to win against top team.
Alam Feb 01, 2013 06:12pm
Isn't Irfan has fitness problem? He looks tired and out of shape after few overs. May Allah give him strength and stamina. He needs to work on his fitness
Greg Feb 01, 2013 04:56pm
It is just his debut. Give him some time. Legendary bowlers are not created on the first days of their debuts.
Javid Shirazi Feb 01, 2013 03:13pm
Not selecting Irfan will cost Pakistan dearly. A travesty. Those concerned shall realize their mistake.
blue Feb 01, 2013 04:28pm
Alhumdulilah, they all played well. Now to bat with focus inshaAllah.
sarim Feb 01, 2013 02:28pm
y that 7 footer irfan has not been given a chance ., is he a better bowler on dead pithes only
sali Feb 01, 2013 07:47pm
253 is enough for SA. Misbah missed the trick by not playing Irfan and giving Rahat a chance ahead of Irfan, Tanvir and Ehsan. Irfan or Tanvir bowling those 14 oves would have made a difference.
Indusonian Feb 01, 2013 06:43pm
Guess what would have been the result for those caught behind dismissals if we had Mr. Akmal with the ghost gloves. Excellent job Pakistan.
mansoor Feb 01, 2013 06:54pm
Very Unlike Pakistan performance. No one with flair and attitude. Pakistan has played with discipline and very professionally with limited bowling resources. Only time run rate showed that South Africa was playing(just above 3/over) was when Rahat was in action. South Africa had to work hard and earned every run as there were no freebies. They are playing as team and I can see Pakistan is going to very well in this series. Hats off to Misbah--best thing ever happened to Cricket Pakistan.
khan Feb 01, 2013 08:25pm
But Irfan has a good quality bower.
ram Feb 01, 2013 10:02pm
Bowlers enough Need batsmen one more
jamil ahmed khan Feb 01, 2013 11:07pm
I agree with selector , need to give chance to other sitting on fence,this way all players can prove there worth.
Khalid Feb 02, 2013 04:20am
For those who wonder why Irfan is not playing this match, he has played his part by bowling in the nets so our batsmen can cope with Morkel's awkward bounce and Steyns bouncers. We may see the results of this strategy when we bat today.
Dr. Salaria, Aamir Ahmad Feb 02, 2013 08:54am
Well done Pakistan. Let the momentum go up from now onwards. Keep it up and hang on tough till the last ball is bowled in this game.
Nasir Feb 02, 2013 10:59am
do you know the update today inshaAllah ??