TEA: Poor shots, running let Proteas down in second session
JOHANNESBURG - South Africa surrendered the advantage gained by winning the toss, losing four wickets - two to injudicious shots another to a run out - in the second session of the first Test against Pakistan on Tuesday.
The Proteas reached tea on the opening day on 179/6 with George LInde on 25 and Keshav Maharaj, who’d just arrived at the crease, still to get off the mark.
It was very much the home team’s session, with their two spinners, Yasir Shah and debutant Nauman Ali building pressure through some accurate bowling.
Yasir got one delivery to spin sharply in the first over after lunch, which Dean Elgar attempted to reverse sweep, only to miss the ball, which spun passed the stumps and travelled to the fine leg boundary for four byes.
That ball, and then the delivery which dismissed Faf du Plessis seemed to spook the tourists, and ghosts of previous tour to the sub-continent floated in their heads as the session unfolded.
Du Plessis and Elgar had shared a partnership of 45 runs for the fourth wicket, when Yasir bowled a beautiful leg spinner which kissed the edge of Du Plessis’s bat, with wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan completing a neat catch. Du Plessis scored 23.
Elgar completed his 16th Test half century, but was the second of two wickets to fall quickly, both gifts for the left-arm spinner Nauman. First skipper Quinton de Kock tried slog sweep the 34 year old - when a shot straight down the ground was the better option - and picked out the other debutant Imran Butt at midwicket after making just 15.
In Nauman’s next over, Elgar, completely out of character, tried a lofted cover drive, but only managed to edge the ball to Babar Azam at slip. Elgar had made 58 off 106 balls, hitting eight fours, but his wicket, tilted the day in Pakistan’s favour.
Temba Bavuma and George Linde, then added 43 runs for the sixth wicket, the pair playing the spinners reasonably comfortably, although they weren’t dominant. Having seen Rassie van der Dussen run out in the first session, Bavuma then gifted his to the Pakistanis in the same way.
He played a lovely sweep, but found himself short of the crease trying to complete a second run, with Hasan Ali’s accurate throw provided another illustration of what has hitherto been a fine fielding performance from Pakistan.
Bavuma’s 17 came off 67 balls, but he wasted that start with a poor piece of judgement.