CAPE TOWN – South Africa’s fast bowlers backed up their captain Faf du Plessis’ decision to bowl first in the second Test against Pakistan with a spirited performance on the first morning here at a sweltering Newlands.
The fast bowling quartet of Dale Steyn, Vernon Philander, Kagiso Rabada and Duanne Olivier all struck telling blows to leave Pakistan reeling at 75/5 at the lunch interval.
With the surface underfoot covered with a healthy grass covering, the Proteas braintrust were comfortable in leaving out specialist spinner Keshav Maharaj for this New Year’s Test.
Steyn struck the first blow when he dismissed Fakhar Zaman (1) before Philander was rewarded for his consistency when Imam-ul-Haq (8) was trapped LBW.
This opened the door for Olivier to steam in from the Wynberg End. Last week’s first Test hero continued his bumper barrage at Azar Ali (2) and duly had the Pakistan No 4 fending off towards the slip region to leave Pakistan on 19/3.
Asad Shafiq briefly resisted with a stubborn 20, but he too was dismissed when Rabada joined the party to have him caught in the slip cordon too.
Olivier (2/19), though, was not finished yet dismissing Babar Azam for two shortly before the interval.