Steyn steamrollers Pakistan
South Africa ruthlessly seized control of the first Test versus Pakistan, who were dismantled for a Test-low 49 on day two at the Wanderers where Dale Steyn shone with 6-8.
In a turnaround from the opening day of the three-game series when the top-ranked hosts were limited to 253 all out, South Africa ended today 411 ahead with seven wickets left.
Graeme Smith, having opted not to enforce the follow-on in his 100th Test as captain, justified his decision to bat again with a fifty before Hashim Amla and AB de Villiers made unbeaten half-centuries.
Pakistan’s worst Test total was the third time in 15 months that the Proteas have dismissed opponents for under 50 in Tests. Steyn’s stunning figures, from 8.1 overs, represented his 20th five-wicket Test haul.
The tourists resumed this morning on six without loss and Steyn struck in his first over, forcing Mohammad Hafeez to edge behind. He broke through twice in his next, having Nasir Jamshed lbw despite a review and Younus Khan caught at first slip.
Azhar Ali and captain Misbah-ul-Haq initially could not buy a run as Steyn, Vernon Philander and Morne Morkel combined for six straight maidens until Misbah clipped Steyn to leg for four.
The third-wicket duo were Pakistan’s only players to reach double-figures in an hour-long stand of 24 that ended when Azhar nicked Jacques Kallis behind. Misbah went likewise in Kallis’ next over courtesy of a review.
In the following set of six Philander made Asad Shafiq the third consecutive caught-behind victim and had Umar Gul edging to first slip.
Lunch came with Pakistan 39 for seven and straight after Steyn snared Saeed Ajmal and Sarfraz Ahmed, both caught behind, and had Rahat Ali held at fourth slip, his three wickets in as many overs completing the rout in the 30th.
Smith and Alviro Petersen regularly found the boundary and, having eclipsed the tourists’ total in the 13th over, built a stand of 82 either side of tea before Petersen top-edged a pull off Gul to go for 27.
The skipper had eased to his fifty from 63 balls but was caught behind for 52 in Gul’s next over and soon after Kallis miscued Ajmal to deep midwicket to leave the hosts 99 for three.
Amla and de Villiers began confidently, each taking Ajmal for two consecutive fours. Aside from the latter overturning an lbw decision for the spinner on review, the pair were untroubled in bringing up their half-centuries from 90 and 63 deliveries respectively.
Amla’s milestone came in the day’s last over as he closed on 50 and de Villiers 63 in a score of 207 without further loss.