Pakistan vs South Africa 2nd Test Day 1: Tahir and Smith leave Pakistan in tatters

Image courtesy of: icc-cricket.com

Tahir’s maiden five-wicket haul demolished Pakistan’s batting line-up

South Africa spinner Imran Tahir recorded a maiden five-wicket haul, while captain Graeme Smith finished unbeaten on 67 as the Proteas left Pakistan in absolute tatters on the first day of the second Test in Dubai.

The Proteas made two changes to their squad, the first being Dean Elgar coming in for Hashim Amla, who is currently awaiting the birth of his second child in South Africa and the second one, which was rather surprising, being Tahir replacing Robin Peterson.

Pakistan retained the same team they had in the first Test, which they won by seven wickets.

Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq finally won his first toss in ten Test matches and chose to bat first.

However, that decision came back to haunt him as opening batsman Khurram Manzoor was caught out off the second ball of the day by Dale Steyn, who had passed a fitness test earlier in the morning after complaining of tightness in his hamstring on Sunday.

Azhar Ali and Shan Masood stabilised the innings with a 38-run partnership before Ali was given out lbw off the bowling of Morne Morkel for 19.

After Ali’s dismissal, Tahir came into the attack and wreaked havoc on the Pakistani batsmen.

Tahir took four wickets in quick succession as Pakistan went from 38/2 to 60/6.

Things went from bad to worse for Pakistan as Saeed Ajmal was run out off a brilliant piece of fielding by opening batsman Alviro Petersen.

Zulfiqur Babar was the only batsman to put up some sort of resistance as he scored 25 runs off 33 balls, which included three boundaries, before Pakistan were bowled out for a dismal 99.

Tahir was the pick of the South Africa’s bowlers with a five-wicket haul, while Steyn snapped up three wickets and Morkel chipped in with one.

Trailing by only 99 runs, South Africa got off to a rocky start as Petersen was given out lbw off the bowling of Babar for 26.

Elgar and Smith steadied the innings with a 54-run partnership before Elgar was caught out off the bowling of Ajmal for 23.

Veteran all-rounder Jacques Kallis failed with the bat once again as he could only amass seven runs before being given out lbw to become Ajmal’s second victim of the day.

Counting today’s failure, Kallis has only managed to score 42 runs in his last six Test innings, which accumulates to a dreary average of seven.

His scores in those last six Test innings are 7, 0, 5, 21, 2 and 7.

Despite Elgar and Kallis falling in quick succession, Smith maintained his composure and brought up his half-century before the umpires decided to bring play to an end for the day.

Smith finished on 67 off 138 balls, which included four boundaries, while Steyn, who came in as the nightwatchman, remained undefeated on three runs.

Ajmal was the most successful Pakistan bowler with two wickets, while Babar picked up one.

South Africa ended the day on 128/3 and will resume their innings tomorrow at 10:00 local time or 06:00 GMT.

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