Proteas on top at Bullring
AFTER OPENER MADE 90, SA LOST SEVEN WICKETS FOR 33 RUNS Proteas bowlers will have to strike back quickly today.
Aiden Markram paid credit to the Pakistan bowlers for their outstanding comeback on the first day of the third Test at the Wanderers yesterday, but admitted being bowled out for 262 was an under-par effort by the South African batsmen, who will now need their bowlers to bail them out.
Markram himself was blameless for the collapse that saw the Proteas lose their last seven wickets for 33 runs, scoring a dazzling 90 off just 124 balls before he was caught down the leg side off paceman Faheem Ashraf. At that stage South Africa were 132/2 and Hashim Amla, Theunis de Bruyn and debutant Zubayr Hamza all made forties as the home side cruised to tea on 226/2.
But Mohammad Amir (15.42-36-2) and Mohammad Abbas (18-6-44-2) bowled superbly in tandem to spark the dramatic collapse.
“You have to give credit to the Pakistan bowlers, they bowled really well and Amir was able to make things happen. They made it difficult to score and bowled in very good channels, the batsmen had to play. There was also a bit more zip in the afternoon, a bit of tail and they put more into the wicket. It was also quite tricky in the first half-hour, but then the pitch was a bit slow,” said Markram
“We would have liked someone to get a three-figure score, a few of us had opportunities, so that was disappointing as well,” Markram said after SA had reduced Pakistan to 17/2 at stumps thanks to wickets in successive balls by Vernon Philander.
Twice in just over a week, Markram has looked in absolute command against the talented Pakistan attack only to be dismissed in unfortunate fashion.
“Today was probably the best I’ve moved and when I’m in the frame of mind to score that’s when I seem to move well. You want intensity as well and then instinct seems to take over,” Markram said.
He certainly did that by stroking 16 fours yesterday, many of them through the most sumptuous drives through the covers or straight down the ground.
The 24-year-old, who has now scored 1 220 runs in his first 26 Test innings at an average of 46.92, made it look ridiculously easy yesterday, but still had some advice for the less experienced batsmen by telling them to expect some tough times in Test cricket in South Africa.
“I told some of the younger guys that we’re going to have such good quick bowlers for a long time so they better get used to playing on very challenging pitches.
“It would be silly not to prepare pitches that assist our attack, so us batsmen have to find a way to score runs on them,” said Markram.
SO CLOSE. Proteas opener Aiden Markram scored a solid 90 on the opening day of the third Test against Pakistan at the Wanderers yesterday.