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02 October 2023

Pakistan vs South Africa: Steyn scalps 6, Pak out for lowest-ever total

By Staff with Agencies

South Africa mowed down Pakistan in the first innings for a paltry 49 -- their lowest-ever Test score -- to put themselves firmly in the driver's seat to win the first Test at the Wanderers on Saturday.

Dale Steyn triggered the collapse with six for eight as the hosts bamboozled the clueless visitors who failed to overcome their previous low which was 53 against Australia in Sharjah in 2002/03.

At stumps on the second day the hosts were 207 for 3 for an overall lead of 411 with seven wickets in hand. Hashim Amla was batting after scoring his 25th Test half century and AB de Villiers was not out on 63. The duo putting on 108 runs for the fourth wicket.

Now, only a miracle can see Pakistan deprive skipper Smith of a victory in his 100th Test as captain.

Pakistan had their tails wagging after a good first day's play where they bowled South Africa out for 253.

But it was a question of whether they had the batters to take on the world's best attack.

And, yesterday they were completely exposed against some high-quality bowling, led by Steyn and backed up well by Jacques Kallis and Vernon Philander.

There was no respite for the Pakistani batsmen as they squirmed in their crease trying to fend off deliveries.
Steyn, bowling with a lot of fire in his belly, began the rot early in the day when he got Hafeez to edge one to AB de Villiers for the wicket-keeper to take the first of his six catches.

Thereafter there was mayhem as wicket after wicket kept tumbling as the Pakistani batsmen kept fishing outside the off stump to give De Villiers some catching practice.
One had to watch Steyn to learn the art of swing bowling. The right-arm pacer was a treat to the eye as he maintained a probing line and length.

Hence Smith's decision not to enforce the follow-on came as a big surprise. He probably wanted to avoid chasing on the fourth day on a wearing track which might assist Saeed Ajmal.
His decision could be justified as SA are in sight of a big win.

Going by how the Pakistani batsmen fared in the first innings it is highly unlikely that they will stretch the match into the fourth day.

Earlier reports

Hashim Amla and AB de Villiers take South Africa to a commanding lead of 350 at drinks break with Amla unbeaten on 30 and De Villiers on 24.

Saeed Ajmal gets his first wicket of the Test match when he entices Kallis to go for a big heave only to hole it to Asad Shafiq at deep midwicket. SA are 99 for 3 in the second innings for an overall lead of 303.

Umar Gul strikes two blows against South Africa, sending back the skipper Smith -- after he scored his 37th half ton -- and his partner Petersen to revive Pakistan's hopes a little bit even as they trail the hosts by 295 runs.

Earlier, Dale Steyn turned wreck-in-chief with six wickets as South Africa bowled Pakistan out for 49, their lowest-ever score in a Test innings.

Steyn was simply unplayable, his bowling figures of 8.1-6-8-6 was testimony to the havoc he created in the Pakistan camp.

The right-arm pacer bagged his 20th five-wicket haul and his 42nd wicket at the Wanderers which is turning out into a favourtive hunting ground for him. 

Jacques Kallis and Vernon Philander too joined hands in the demolition of the visitors as captain Smith decided against enforcing the follow-on.

Junaid strikes two boundaries off Philander but Pakistan are still five short of avoiding the follow-on.

Steyn and AB de Villiers are having a great time. Steyn goes on to claim his 20th five-wicket haul by getting Sarfraz Ahmed to nick one to de Villiers thus handing the wicket-keeper his sixth catch of the match.

Steyn is bang on target right after the lunch break with his second ball finding the edge of Ajmal's bat for De Villiers to dive in front of first slip and take his fifth catch so far.

Pakistan still need another 13 more runs to avoid the follow-on

South African bowlers towered over the Pakistani batsmen bagging seven wickets in the first session on Day 2 of the first Test at the Wanderers stadium on Saturday.

Dale Steyn led the attack with three wickets while Jacques Kallis and Vernon Philander supported him well with two wickets each.

The Pakistani batsmen were all at sea against some beautiful swing bowling from Steyn. Of the 23 overs they faced in the first session they could manage just 34 runs.

It was high-quality bowling from the hosts. Steyn was on fire getting the wickets of Hafeez, Nasir Jamshed and Younis Khan.

Kallis removed Azhar Ali and captain Misbah while Philander was not to be left behind getting rid of Asad Shafiq and Umar Gul.

Earlier, Philander too got among the wickets, getting Umar Gul to play a widish ball into the outstretched hands of Smith.

Pakistan need another 15 runs to avoid the follow on.

Asad Shafiq too joins Misbah back in the pavilion after slashing at a wide ball from Philander to give AB de Villiers a simple catch.

South Africa are right on top after getting the wicket of Misbah-ul-Haq. The Pakistan skipper will consider himself unlucky after a half-hearted appeal was turned down by Billy Bowden but was referred to the third umpire. Hot Spot is not very clear but the decision goes in favour of the hos

Pakistan lose yet another wicket, this time it's Azhar Ali who gets a snorter from Kallis. The one-down batsman had grafted for 46 balls for his 13 but couldn't fend this one and handed AB de Villiers an easy catch.

Misbah and Azhar try to revive the Pakistan innings with occasional boundaries as the visitors crawl at below two runs an over.

Misbah has already been hit on the elbow and on the body by Morne Morkel but he refuses to throw in the towel just yet. 

Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq gets off the mark after 18 deliveries with a boundary off Steyn who strays down the leg side.

Steyn has Pakistan on the back foot when he gets the experienced Younis Khan to edge one to skipper Smith in the slips. Younis departs without scoring.  

Steyn on fire claiming his second wicket that of Nasir Jamshed by trapping him LBW.

Pakistan lose first wicket. Steyn gets the outside egde of Hafeez.