Duanne Olivier screams in delight after dismissing Imam-ul-Haq for 57 on Thursday. Photo: Christiaan Kotze/BackpagePix

CENTURION – Duanne Olivier completed an 11-wicket haul in the match to put the Proteas on top in the first Test against Pakistan on Thursday.

Kagiso Rabada also went past his half-century of Test wickets in the calendar year, and Dale Steyn took his 50th scalp against Pakistan as 15 wickets again fell on the second day at SuperSport Park.

Nine of those wickets fell in the final session of play for just 90 runs as Pakistan were bowled out shortly before the close, leaving the Proteas a victory target of 149 runs on what seems certain to be the final day on Friday.

This was as a result of the Proteas taking a lead of 42 runs on the first innings thanks to Temba Bavuma’s half-century (53 off 87 balls, 9x4) and 45 from Quinton de Kock (53 balls, 5x4) which could have been a lot more had he not run out of reliable partners.

Bavuma has become a key member of the Proteas batting line-up, particularly when the pressure is on.

Apart from the retired AB de Villiers, he is the only South African batsman to have an average of 40 in the current calendar year, with Aiden Markram and Dean Elgar the next best, both on 35.

The Proteas would have been happy to have scored 96 in the morning session, even if it came at the cost of their remaining five first-innings wickets. 

Then Pakistan looked as though they would set the Proteas a very tough target as Imam-ul-Haq (57 off 96 balls, 8x4, 1x6) and Shan Masood (65 off 120 balls, 7x4, 1x6) shared a second-wicket partnership that took Pakistan to 100/1 at tea.

As has been the case so often in this match, it was Olivier who started the collapse by dismissing Imam and Pakistan’s senior batsman Azhar Ali in the space of four balls, thus opening up the rest of the order.

Shan continued to fight until he was ninth man out, but nobody was able to hang around with him for any length of time.

Olivier took five wickets for the second time in the match to finish with a career-best 11/96, the 10th-best match figures for South Africa of all time.

Rabada picked up three to take his total for the calendar year past 50 in only 10 matches, and Steyn picked up the other two to take his total against Pakistan to exactly 50 in 11 matches.

Cricket South Africa