For all Mickey Arthur’s protestations about the state of South Africa’s pitches, the Pakistan pair Shan Masood and Asad Shafiq put together a solid partnership during the afternoon session that could even have had the home team wondering if they erred in leaving out their specialist spinner Keshav Maharaj. The ever-green Dale Steyn, though, was having none of it and showed that he was still the man his captain Faf du Plessis throw the ball to when the Proteas need a crucial breakthrough. Steyn obliged, luring Masood into ticking one outside the off stump, and Steyn’s manic celebrations showed just what it meant to the veteran.
The morning session produced royal entertainment with five South Africa wickets falling, but also the addition of 49 runs in just 49 balls. The tailenders certainly made merry, and none more so than Steyn who simply gave himself room and hauled out his golf swing against the Pakistan quicks. All the attempts never made contact, but there was one sweetly-timed pull-cum-hook shot that sailed into the Railway Stand.
Steyn’s tail was certainly up and he went head-hunting in the afternoon session. After Olivier softened up Mohammad Amir with a couple of short balls that wrapped the left-hander on the gloves, Steyn came charging in from the Wynberg End. The 35-year-old unleashed the perfect bouncer aimed directly at Amir’s throat. The tailender actually did very well to get a glove on it and did not even think of asking for a review and made his way directly to the changeroom.
Often “KG” performs feats so miraculous that makes people wonder if he is actually human. But the young fast bowler showed that even he is prone to the odd error, when he spilt a regulation catch of Steyn’s bowling late in the day.
In the pre-match press conference Proteas captain Faf du Plessis was asked about how young Cape Cobras young batsman Zubayr Hamza was fitting into the squad. Du Plessis spoke glowing about the former Rondebosch Boys High prodigy and stated that even though he wasn’t playing in this Test match, he hoped that he would come on the field and take a skier infront of his home crowd just to test the nerves. And that’s exactly what transpired, with Hamza fielding in the unique position of fly slip where he managed just managed to keep himself inside of play to complete the catch.
Everyone was watching the clock for the last wicket to fall, and when they thought it finally happened when Mohammad Abbas hit the ball straight into the air, the players ran off the field. They were all too hasty though for Vernon Philander had over-stepped the line and everyone had to come back again.@ZaahierAdams