Johannesburg – Pakistan coach Dav Whatmore believes an onslaught by the South African pace bowlers in the morning session on day two of the second Test at the Wanderers on Saturday was the best he has ever seen.
Dale Steyn took 6/8 as Pakistan collapsed to their lowest Test score of 49. He was ably supported by Jacques Kallis, Vernon Philander and Morne Morkel in what Whatmore said was a mixture of pace and skill.
“I have never seen two hours of such relentless attack, it was incredible pace bowling,” Whatmore, who was born in Sri Lanka and represented Australia, told a news conference.
“Most of our batsman were out to terrific balls. I think we scored something like 34 runs in the first session? It is unheard of.”
Whatmore had special praise for Steyn, who he said was nearly unplayable.
“His pace and skill on this pitch is what makes him so special. I am obviously unhappy with the result of today, but there were reasons for it. It was incredible bowling,” he said.
South Africa were 207/3 at the close, a lead of 411.
Steyn played down his performance, saying the whole team had responded to a dressing-down from captain Graeme Smith after they were bowled out for 253 on Friday.
“Graeme sat the guys down this morning and said he wanted a 100 percent day from us. He felt we didn't give that yesterday,” Steyn said. “We don't have to have many of these chats so I think it had a hand in our performance.”
The world's number one fast bowler said after his initial success in removing three of Pakistan's top order, he returned to find he could extract even more out of the pitch to clean up the tail.
“I think the ball actually swung a bit more as it got older, and the wicket assisted it also. It was a great effort from all the bowlers, even Morne, who didn't get a wicket, was hitting the gloves and bowling really well,” he said.
Steyn said Smith's decision to bat again instead of enforcing the follow-on had nothing to do with giving the bowlers a rest.
“We just felt we wanted to put Pakistan completely out of the game. The pitch is easier to bat on in the afternoons so we wanted to take advantage of that,” he said. – Reuters