Pakistan put Proteas on back foot
Pakistan made a fine start to their three-Test series with South Africa, limiting their hosts to 253 all out on day one of the opening match at the Wanderers.
Although each member of South Africa's top seven got starts, Jacques Kallis’ 50 proved the highest score and the Proteas' final five wickets fell swiftly for the addition of just 21 runs.
Off-spinner Mohammad Hafeez, little more than a part-timer in Tests, ran through the tail to return career-best figures of 4-16, yet it was Pakistan’s pace attack that set the tone, with Junaid Khan particularly impressive en route to 2-33 from 18 overs. Pakistan subsequently reached stumps on six without loss.
Hafeez’s success late in the day was not the only bonus for the tourists; remarkably, the prolific Hashim Amla gave his wicket away on 37 with a loose stroke against the innocuous medium-pace of Younus Khan.
Although bowlers are generally offered encouragement at Johannesburg - as was the case today - Graeme Smith opted to bat after winning the toss in his 100th Test as captain.
He and Alviro Petersen worked hard to see off the initial threat from Junaid, Umar Gul and debutant left-arm paceman Rahat Ali.
Yet Junaid had Petersen held at third slip with the score on 46 and Smith, who celebrated his 32nd birthday today, fell four balls later, caught behind playing across the line at a full delivery from Gul.
Kallis and Amla looked to be moving into familiar territory as they bedded in either side of lunch.
The turning point came when Kallis top-edged an attempted pull off Gul and saw Asad Shafiq pull off a fine diving catch at deep midwicket.
Amla’s surprise dismissal, which saw the number three snaffled at gully, came soon after, prompting another rebuilding phase for South Africa.
AB de Villiers, who fell to Hafeez’s first ball, and Francois du Plessis reached 31 and 41 respectively, but things soon went awry once the latter was bowled by Junaid, the ball having spun back onto the stumps following a defensive stroke.
Hafeez sneaked in to claim a further three scalps, either side of Vernon Philander being run out, and Pakistan’s openers emerged from the day's two remaining overs unscathed.