Magnificent Steyn bowls SA to victory

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Steyn_wicket AP South Africa's Dale Steyn (centre) celebrate with his teammates after taking the wicket of Asad Shafiq of Pakistan.

Johannesburg - Dale Steyn took 11 wickets and wicketkeeper AB de Villiers equalled the world record of 11 catches in a match, as South Africa beat Pakistan by 211 runs in the first Test at the Wanderers, in Johannesburg, on Monday.

Taking the new ball, Steyn looked unplayable and it did not take him long to break Pakistan’s solid, overnight partnership and open the gate to the tail.

Resuming on 183/4, with Misbah-ul-Huq unbeaten on 44 and Asad Shafiq on 53, Pakistan still faced a deficit of 296 runs to avoid defeat.

After surviving the first five overs with the old ball, Misbah reached his 18th half-century, off 146 deliveries, and together with Shafiq, they broke their own previous fifth-wicket record against South Africa, combining for 127 runs.

They had been together at the crease for three-and-a-half hours, and faced 321 deliveries before Steyn ended the crucial stand. Shafiq (56) was looking to push off the back foot but the ball stayed low and Jacques Kallis held onto a low catch at second slip.

In Steyn’s next over he got rid of talisman Misbah as a back-of-a-length delivery moved away from him, and in trying to play a defensive shot, a thin edge went through to the keeper.

Steyn’s remarkable 6/8 in Pakistan’s first innings and 5/52 in the second gave him match figures of 11/60.

AB de Villiers, suffering a damaged index finger on his right hand, looked to be in pain at times but followed up his six catches in the first innings with another five in the second.

His 11 catches behind the stumps equalled the record held by England’s Jack Russell -- who, coincidentally, achieved the feat was against South Africa at the same ground in 1995/96.

The end could have come earlier but, for the second time in the innings, a batsman was recalled before crossing the rope after Morne Morkel thought he had the wicket of Junaid Khan. Replays showed it was an illegal delivery as the heel of Morkel’s boot was over the popping crease and, therefore, the delivery was declared a no-ball.

Once Steyn had opened the gate to the tail, it was always just a matter of time and Pakistan were bowled out for 268, just four minutes after the now-movable, scheduled lunch break.

Morkel took two wickets at a cost of 89 runs and Vernon Philander, the other no-ball culprit, ended with 2/60, while Kallis bagged one scalp. - Sapa



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