TEA: Pakistan edge closer to SA total in Karachi
Pakistan are trailing South Africa by 42 runs at tea on the second day of the first Test in Karachi after another productive session for the hosts.
While the Proteas deserve credit for some very disciplined bowling, the Pakistani batsmen have been their equal through the first two sessions. At the break Pakistan were 178/6 with Fawad Alam, showing outstanding resolve on 63, and Faheem Ashraf, new to the crease, still to score.
Fawad, with his unusual style of creeping across the his stumps, kept South Africa at bay, with sound defence, while he clipped the quicks, looking to bowl full and take advantage of the reverse swing on off, neatly off his toes through the leg side.
His 94-run fifth wicket stand with Azhar Ali has been crucial in keep Pakistan in touch, after they’d slumped to 27/4 in the final hour of play on Tuesday in the face of some outstanding fast bowling by Kagiso Rabada.
Rabada maintained that form on Wednesday but has had no luck, and remains one wicket shy of 200. He has been the one South African bowler who’s been able to consistently control the reverse swinging ball.
Pakistan lost two wickets in the session. Azhar, shortly after completing his 33rd Test half-century tried to cut a ball from Keshav Maharaj that bounced more than he’d anticipated and was perhaps a bit too close to his body for the shot as well. Quinton de Kock completed a good catch, with Azhar, whose battle with Maharaj had been an intriguing one, making 51, that included four boundaries.
While Fawad dug, who made a hundred in the Test series in New Zealand recently, dug in at one end, Mohammad Rizwan, took the attack to the South Africans hitting a couple of delightful boundaries against the reverse swinging ball, including a sweet on-drive off Ngidi.
The sixth wicket partnership realised 55 runs before Ngidi won his battle with Rizwan, inducing the edge with Faf du Plessis completing a neat catch diving to his left at slip. Rizwan’s innings of 33 included six fours
One area where South Africa have been throughout the day is the use of their reviews. All three have been used up with De Kock guilty of applying guess work instead of sound judgement.