CAPE TOWN – Quinton de Kock blamed a series of soft dismissals for South Africa’s seven wicket loss in the first Test against Pakistan on Friday.
The South African captain said his side let itself down in the first innings when the Proteas were bowled out for 220. “Scoring 220, that’s not good enough especially when you opt to bat first,” De Kock said. “We really let ourselves down in the first innings.”
"There were too many soft dismissals. It wasn't a case of not adapting to conditions, we've been here long enough, there were just so many soft dismissals. We saw what happened when Aiden (Markram) and Rassie (van der Dussen) were able to form a partnership and hopefully we can take the lessons from that into the next match."
Despite reducing Pakistan to 27/4 later on the first day, South Africa were put firmly on the back foot thereafter, with Fawad Alam’s man of the match century helping Pakistan to build a substantial 158-run lead.
“Our bowlers bowled with great aggression and accuracy but Pakistan batted really against us,” De Kock added.
The final session on days two and three proved decisive. Pakistan rapidly built their lead against a tired attack using the new ball on Wednesday afternoon and then on Thursday, led by leg-spinner Yasir Shah, Pakistan picked three wickets in last half an hour of play, to turn the match decisively in their favour.
“The credit goes to the players,” said Pakistan captain, Babar Azam. “Our bowling was outstanding on a slow pitch and the way Yasir and Nauman (Ali) bowled, it helped us get wickets.” Between them the two Pakistan bowlers claimed 14 South African wickets, with the 34 year old debutant, Nauman claiming a second innings ‘five-for.’
“When we lost four early wickets Fawad and Azhar (Ali) put on a good partnership as they showed their experience. It gave us a boost and a very crucial lead.”
The teams move to the northern city of Rawalpindi for the second Test that starts on February 4.