Pakistan v South Africa, 1st Test, Dubai, 2nd day November 13, 2010

Containing the batsmen was key - Gul

ESPNcricinfo staff

Umar Gul sparked Pakistan's fightback on the second morning at Dubai as he removed nightwatchman Paul Harris, AB de Villiers and Ashwell Prince in quick succession in the midst of his spell of 3 for 15 in eight overs.

His dismissal of de Villiers, bowled through the gate by one that nipped back in off the pitch, was particularly eye-catching and brought Pakistan right back into the game after South Africa had started the day on a healthy 311 for 3. "I have worked very hard on the incutter," revealed Gul. "I bowled a couple of outswingers to de Villiers before slipping in the incoming delivery."

Pakistan managed to maintain control in the field despite the loss of Wahab Riaz, who has been ruled out of the remainder of the series with a muscle strain. Harris clung to the crease in a 42-minute duck - setting a new record for South Africa in the process - while Kallis clipped an early boundary off his legs, but the scoring rate then stalled completely as just two more boundaries were struck in the opening session despite Pakistan's depleted resources.

"We had a team meeting during it was felt that we had conceded around 30-40 extra runs yesterday which we shouldn't have," explained Gul. "It was decided that we would try to contain them today. There was some pressure, obviously, due to the loss of Wahab Riaz. However, Younis Khan bowled really well and we built pressure by restricting the flow of runs. The thinking was that if we managed to do so, the batsmen would make mistakes [and get out]."

Pakistan's opening batsmen built upon the progress made by the bowlers with a 105-run stand before Mohammad Hafeez chipped Paul Harris to Graeme Smith at mid-on to be out for 60. Gul praised the batsmen's efforts, and suggested that if Pakistan could secure a first-innings lead then South Africa could be put under real pressure.

"Taufeeq and Hafeez gave us a good start, and Younis and Azhar Ali are going along nicely. We'll try and bat for as long as possible, and if we can get a lead of 100-150 runs, it will be tough for South Africa on this wicket in the third innings.

"The pitch is still good for batting, there are hardly any rough areas on it. Maybe there will be some uneven bounce from the third day."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • rahul on November 14, 2010, 13:18 GMT

    Izaz butt is going nowhere as long as zardari is the president. But who cares about the politics if pak can do well on the field. Still i feel they should give more chances to young players. yousuf and misbah should be dropped. My team: ahmed, hafeez, younis, fawad, umar, malik, adnan, rehman, gul, riaz, sami. Make fawad the test captain. Bring afridi and razzaq for odis. Reserves: taufeeq, azhar, asad, ajmal, akhtar, junaid khan and talha.

  • Vipul on November 14, 2010, 6:58 GMT

    Umar Gul, to me, is a very unlucky bowler. His 108 wickets in test matches simply don't do justice to his abilities. I personally believe he is a better bowler than Asif as Gul has more pace with almost equal control.

  • Dummy4 on November 14, 2010, 3:02 GMT

    The incutter was I N C R E D I B L E

  • Dummy4 on November 13, 2010, 22:37 GMT

    Good bowling from umar gul and in cutter he bowled along side abdur rehman who also bowled very well and alson good 2 wickets from wahab riaz and saeed ajmal. And good 105 run patnership that got pakistan to a good start by mohammad hafeez and tafeeq umar day 2 is pakistan day hopfully they will do well tommrow.

  • Dummy4 on November 13, 2010, 20:04 GMT

    That in-cutter was awesome.....

  • ALI on November 13, 2010, 18:53 GMT

    Without any hesitation, I see Umar Gul as the future captain of Pakistan. The demeanor says it all!!!

  • Abrar on November 13, 2010, 18:41 GMT

    If Pakistan can bat properly then in my thoughts this Match will be Heading to a Draw Smith Kallis and Amla have proven before that they can Perform fantastic in the third innings. But If Pakistan do manage to get a good lead and South Africa collapse then i seriously Hope they Perform the same way in the Second test to be honest i can't even remember the last time Pakistan won a test series. Hopefully this time it'll be different.

  • Dummy4 on November 13, 2010, 18:39 GMT

    Good fightback by pak..we will win inshAllah

  • Dummy4 on November 13, 2010, 18:25 GMT


  • Dummy4 on November 13, 2010, 18:15 GMT

    Excellent Piece Of Bowling By Umer Gul.....Keep Going Gul.

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