Pakistan strike early blows

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iol spt feb15 Pakistan celebrates AP Pakistan grabbed two wickets before tea time, leaving South Africa on 65/2. Picture: Schalk van Zuydam.

Cape Town – South Africa made a tentative start to their first innings and were 65/2 at tea on Friday, in the second Test against Pakistan in Cape Town.

Before they had a run on the board, Smith was dropped by Younus Khan at second slip.

It was a regulation catch which went straight through his hands after Smith got a thick outside edge to an Umar Gul delivery.

Having survived the early chance, Smith, on 19, was given out leg-before to off-spinner Saeed Ajmal, after the Pakistan captain called for a review on a turned-down appeal.

Ajmal also removed Alviro Petersen (17), when he was brilliantly caught by Asad Shafiq at short leg.

Faf du Plessis came in ahead of Jacques Kallis, who bowled more than his fair share of overs in the morning session after Morne Morkel was taken off as a precautionary measure.

Kallis felt a tightness in his left hamstring and was withdrawn as precautionary measure for treatment.

Du Plessis joined Hashim Amla at the crease and the pair steered South Africa to tea, unbeaten on 3 and 17, respectively.

Earlier, Pakistan were all out for 338 after Vernon Philander took another five-wicket haul at his home ground.

It was Philander's ninth five-wicket haul in only his 15th Test and his third out of four Tests played in Cape Town.

Resuming on 253/5, Pakistan were soon in trouble with the ball being only 10 overs' old.

Once again, it was Philander who made the inroads into Pakistan's tail and, opting to bowl from the Wynberg End, he picked up the huge wicket of Shafiq with his first ball.

He pitched in the perfect area and, as the ball moved away slightly, it took the edge and Shafiq was on his way without adding to his overnight score of 111.

Petersen, at third slip, took a magnificent one-handed catch to dismiss Sarfraz Ahmed for 13, giving Philander his fourth wicket.

With a wicket in each of his first three overs of the day, Philander had new batsman Umar Gul trapped lbw, before he was able to get off the mark.

Philander's three wickets cost just six runs as Pakistan had gone from a decent overnight score to 268/8 in a matter of six overs.

However, South Africa's pacemen were unable to finish the job as quickly as they would have liked once the shine had gone off the ball.

In a defiant ninth-wicket stand, Tanvir Ahmed and Ajmal added 64 runs off 110 balls, until the former holed out to Philander, standing at mid-off for 44.

Mohammad Irfan made his Test debut coming in to bat at number 11 and faced 12 balls for his six runs before he played onto his stumps. Ajmal was unbeaten on 21. – Sapa


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