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CAPE TOWN: Duanne Olivier led another fast bowling assault on Pakistan’s batsmen as South Africa took control on the first day of the second Test at Newlands on Thursday.

Olivier took four for 48 as Pakistan were bowled out for 177 after being sent in on a hard, green-tinged pitch.

Opener Aiden Markram then struck an assured 78 as South Africa reached 123 for two at the close.

Olivier followed up a match-winning performance in the first Test in Centurion, while veteran Dale Steyn took three for 48.

Captain Sarfraz Ahmed hit a defiant 56 and Shan Masood made 44 to lift an otherwise poor Pakistan batting performance.

South Africa’s decision to pick an all-pace attack paid dividends with all four fast bowlers picking up wickets, with most of the Pakistan batsmen looking vulnerable against fast, short-pitched deliveries.

As at Centurion, where he had match figures of 11 for 96, Olivier lived up to the ‘enforcer’ tag given him by captain Faf du Plessis, regularly landing the ball in his own half of the pitch and making it rear up towards the batsmen.

Unlike Centurion, the pitch itself was not a major factor in Pakistan’s collapse. It was hard and there was some green grass on the surface but the bounce was largely true and there was no exaggerated sideways movement.

The only ball that misbehaved markedly was the last of the day when part-time seamer Shan Masood bowled Markram with a ball which nipped back and kept low.

Azhar Ali, Pakistan’s most experienced batsman, fell to a short ball from Olivier for the third time in a row, fending tamely to first slip. Five of his team-mates also were dismissed by short deliveries.

Pakistan’s batting was put into perspective when Markram and Dean Elgar put on 56 for the first wicket at almost five runs an over.

Mohammad Amir put a brake on the scoring by having Elgar caught behind during a second spell in which he conceded only eight runs in five overs but Markram and Hashim Amla steadily built a second wicket stand of 67 off 109 balls.

Markram, who had not reached 20 in his previous six Test innings, struck the ball firmly in reaching a half-century off 64 balls with 11 fours. He added another three fours and a straight six off leg-spinner Yasir Shah before being surprised by Shan at the end of the day after a 96-ball innings.

Sarfraz, who bagged a pair as did his du Plessis in the first Test at SuperSport Park, provided the brightest interlude for Pakistan after coming in with his team in danger of a total collapse at 54 for five. Looking to counter-attack at every opportunity, Sarfraz put on 60 for the sixth wicket with Shan (44) and 42 for the seventh wicket with Mohammad Amir (22 not out).

Sarfraz hit nine fours in an 81-ball innings. Shan faced 71 deliveries and hit five fours and a hooked six off Kagiso Rabada.


PAKISTAN (1st Innings):

Imam-ul-Haq lbw b Philander 8 Fakhar Zaman c Bavuma b Steyn 1 Shan Masood c de Kock b Rabada 44 Azhar Ali c Amla b Olivier 2
Asad Shafiq c Elgar b Rabada 20 Babar Azam c du Plessis b Olivier 2
Sarfraz Ahmed c de Kock b Olivier 56 Mohammad Amir not out 22 Yasir Shah c du Plessis b Olivier 5 Mohammad Abbas c de Kock b Steyn 0 Shaheen Shah Afridi c de Kock b Steyn 3 EXTRAS (B-8, LB-2, W-3, NB-1) 14 TOTAL (all out, 51.1 overs) 177 FALL OF WKTS: 1-9, 2-13, 3-19, 4-51, 5-54, 6-114, 7-156, 8-162, 9-163. BOWLING: Steyn 15.1-3-48-3 (1w); Philander 11-3-36-1; Rabada 10-2-35-2 (1nb); Olivier 15-3-48-4 (2w).

SOUTH AFRICA (1st Innings):

A.K. Markram b Shan 78 D. Elgar c Sarfraz b Amir 20 H.M. Amla not out 24 EXTRAS (LB-1) 1 TOTAL (for two wkts, 30 overs) 123 FALL OF WKTS: 1-56, 2-123. TO BAT: F. du Plessis, T. Bavuma, T.B.M. de Bruyn, Q. de Kock, V.D. Philander, K. Rabada, D.W. Steyn, D. Olivier. BOWLING (to-date): Mohammad Amir 8-2-25-1; Mohammad Abbas 9-0-45-0; Shaheen Shah Afridi 9-1-34-0; Yasir Shah 3-0-14-0; Shan Masood 1-0-4-1. UMPIRES: B.N.J. Oxenford (Australia) and J.S. Wilson (West Indies). TV UMPIRE: S. Ravi (India). MATCH REFEREE: D.C. Boon (Australia).

Published in Dawn, January 4th, 2019

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