Bowlers dom­i­nate again in fi­nal South Africa Test

The Borneo Post (Sabah) - - SPORT -

JO­HAN­NES­BURG: Lead­ing wicket-taker Duanne Olivier said bounce and swing were key fac­tors as bowlers again dom­i­nated on the sec­ond day of the third and fi­nal Test be­tween South Africa and Pak­istan at the Wan­der­ers Sta­dium on Satur­day.

Olivier claimed five for 51, his third five-wicket haul of the se­ries, as South Africa gained a first in­nings lead of 77.

But Pak­istan’s bowlers hit back. South Africa were 135 for five in their sec­ond in­nings at the close, an over­all lead of 212.

“The match is still on,” said Pak­istan cap­tain Sar­fraz Ahmed, al­though he ad­mit­ted that his team would need to pro­duce their best bat­ting per­for­mance of the se­ries in or­der to chase down what­ever tar­get they are set.

Play­ers of both teams said af­ter the first day that the pitch was bet­ter for bat­ting than in the first two Tests - but 25 wick­ets have fallen in two days and the match ap­pears to be hurtling to­wards an­other early con­clu­sion.

“The Pak­istan bats­men bat­ted quite well and quickly,” said Olivier. “If you get your­self in you will get re­warded with the bat but as a bowler I feel there is al­ways some­thing, es­pe­cially with the bounce at the Wan­der­ers.”

Olivier, who has taken 21 wick­ets in five in­nings said swing was a fac­tor for the first time in the se­ries.

“The pre­vi­ous two Tests there wasn’t much swing. There’s quite a bit of swing at the Wan­der­ers. There’s still enough as­sis­tance for the bowlers and both teams have bowled well.”

Olivier started the se­ries as South Africa’s fifth-choice fast bowler but played in the first Test in Cen­tu­rion be­cause of in­juries to Ver­non Phi­lan­der and Lungi Ngidi. He had match fig­ures of 11 for 96, prompt­ing South Africa to opt for a four-man pace at­tack when Phi­lan­der re­turned for the sec­ond Test.

Pak­istan were right back in the game when medium-pacer Fa­heem Ashraf took two wick­ets in his first over to re­duce South Africa to 45 for four. But Hashim Amla and Temba Bavuma blunted the bowlers in a fifth wicket stand of 48 be­fore Quin­ton de Kock joined Amla and lifted the scor­ing rate late in the day by scor­ing 34 not out off 35 balls.

Amla made a pa­tient 42 not out off 90 balls against tight, dis­ci­plined bowl­ing.

Sar­fraz said his team had missed an op­por­tu­nity with the bat to match or get close to South Africa’s first in­nings to­tal of 262. They lost their last five wick­ets for 16 runs.

Sar­fraz and Babar Azam played some thrilling strokes in putting on 78 off 61 balls for the sixth wicket but both were out within the space of five balls, to be fol­lowed im­me­di­ately by Ashraf, who was out first ball to Olivier.

“If you want to score here you have to play pos­i­tively be­cause a good ball is com­ing,” said Sar­fraz, who scored 50 off 40 balls. But he blamed “three bad shots, me, Babar and Fa­heem” for the col­lapse.

Sar­fraz played one cut shot too many and was caught at first slip off Kag­iso Rabada be­fore Azam hooked Olivier to long leg. Ashraf got into a tan­gle try­ing to play a pull shot and spliced a sim­ple catch to short leg.

Sar­fraz said the bowlers had also let their stan­dards slip to­wards the end of the day when De Kock flour­ished. “We bowled re­ally well but the last 45 min­utes we were not up to the mark,” he said. - AFP

- AFP photo

South African bowler Duanne Olivier (C) cel­e­brates next to Pak­istan bats­man Mo­ham­mad Ab­bas (R) dur­ing the sec­ond day of the third Cricket Test match be­tween South Africa and Pak­istan at Wan­der­ers cricket sta­dium on Jan­uary 12, 2019 in Jo­han­nes­burg, South Africa.

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