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South Africa on Top After Olivier, Steyn Run Through Pakistan at Newlands

Cricketnext Staff |January 3, 2019, 10:33 PM IST
South Africa on Top After Olivier, Steyn Run Through Pakistan at Newlands

Aiden Markram scored a half century on the opening day of the second Test at Newlands against Pakistan on Thursday as South Africa reached 123-2 at stumps.

The Proteas are currently just 54 runs behind Pakistan after Sarfraz Ahmed’s men – put in to bat after Faf du Plessis won the toss – suffered another batting collapse and were bundled out after just two sessions on the first day.

Markram and his opening partner Dean Elgar put together a 55-run stand for the opening wicket but Elgar was the first to depart after edging one to Sarfraz behind the stumps off Mohammad Amir’s bowling.

Hashim Amla then joined Markram in the middle and the two looked like they would see out the remaining overs without much fuss but the latter was bowled on 78 on the final ball of the day by Shan Masood.

But earlier in the day it was pacer Duanne Olivier who did the damage for South Africa once again, taking four wickets as the visitors folded for a paltry 177 when tea was taken.

Olivier ended the first innings with figures of 4-48, a performance that will only bring more attention to him after he bagged 11 wickets in the first Test in Pretoria, which the hosts won by six wickets.

South Africa went into the Test with an all-out seam attack and the tactic worked wonders as they snared five quick wickets before lunch and then mopped up the remaining half of the side after the second session was extended.

For Pakistan, it was another forgettable outing with the bat as only skipper Sarfraz Ahmed – who top-scored for them 56 – and Shan Masood (44) offered a lick of resistance in a 60-run partnership after lunch before a brilliant catch from wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock tipped the scales in favour of the home side.

Pakistan were 75-5 at lunch but a fightback seemed possible thanks to the partnership between Ahmed and Masood, with the former playing a knock that was both solid and kept the scoreboard ticking.

However, any chance of a big partnership bringing Pakistan back into the game was snuffed out when Masood was spectacularly caught by wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock off the bowling of Kagiso Rabada.

Olivier then removed Sarfraz, who was aiming to fight fire with fire but ended up playing a needless shot and will once again bring up questions about his future as skipper despite him scoring his 17th half century in the longest format of the game.

Olivier, who is playing only his seventh Test, then removed Yasir Shah cheaply before Dale Steyn cleaned up the tail in the extended second session.

Steyn took 3-48 with Rabada returning figures of 2-35 and Vernon Philander 1-36, on his return to the side after injury.

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Team Rankings

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 3631 113
2 New Zealand 2547 111
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 3778 105
5 Australia 2640 98
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Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6745 125
2 India 7071 122
3 New Zealand 4837 112
4 Australia 5543 111
5 South Africa 5193 110
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Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7365 283
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4196 262
4 India 8099 261
5 Australia 5471 261
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