CENTURION: In-form batsman Babar Azam along with tail-ender Hasan Ali saved Pakistan from total collapse on the first day of the first Test match against South Africa here at the Super Sport Park on Wednesday.
Duanne Olivier claimed a maiden Test five-wicket haul as Pakistan were bowled out for 181 after captain Sarfraz Ahmed decided to bat first on the pitch suited to fast bowlers.
No batsman except Babar Azam could resist against onslaught of fast, short-pitched bowling from the South African pacers as Pakistan were reeling at 111 for eight in the second session.
Babar fought back brilliantly, adding 67 valuable runs along with tail-ender Hasan Ali for the ninth wicket before he was dismissed by fast bowler Kagiso Rabada for a 71 off 79 balls. He hit 15 boundaries.
An irate Dale Steyn approaches the crease to deliver the penultimate ball of his 13th over. He hits good length outside the line of the off-stump. The ball stays a touch low. With great care, the batsman comes onto it and guides it past the second slip for another boundary.
Steyn turns red. He passes a smile, the one of despair, as he watches the ball hit the boundary rope. One can see that he is seething from the inside.
It is the third boundary on the trot. Fourth of the over. But what makes it abasing for Steyn is the fact that this is the second time he has been spanked for these many boundaries in an over in the ongoing spell. On both occasions, it is the same batsman who has done it.
Here’s the video of Babar’s all four’s vs Dale Steyn:
Earlier, Pakistan fought back after being bowled out for 181 as bowlers dominated on the first day of the first Test against South Africa at SuperSport Park on Wednesday.
Duanne Olivier took six for 37 as the hosts subjected Pakistan to an onslaught of aggressive, short-pitched bowling.
South Africa struggled in reply, reaching 127 for five at the close, with left-armers Mohammad Amir and Shaheen Shah Afridi both taking two wickets.
Teenager Afridi struck with successive deliveries, dismissing Dean Elgar and captain Faf du Plessis as South Africa lost three wickets without scoring a run to sink to 43 for four.
Theunis de Bruyn (29) and Temba Bavuma (38 not out) seemed to be regaining the ascendancy for South Africa as they added 69 for the fifth wicket but De Bruyn was caught behind off Amir late in the day to leave the match evenly poised.
Olivier, effectively South Africa´s fifth-choice fast bowler, gained his sixth Test cap following injuries to Vernon Philander and Lungi Ngidi. He was consistently hostile, especially in a seven-over spell after lunch when he ripped through Pakistan´s middle order, taking three for 17.
Olivier stole the limelight for South Africa on a day when Dale Steyn became South Africa´s leading all-time wicket-taker.