Pakistan v South Africa, 1st Test, Dubai, 3rd day November 14, 2010

South Africa in control after Morkel and Botha star


South Africa 380 and 139 for 2 (Amla 44*, Kallis, 32*) lead Pakistan 248 (Hafeez 60, Azhar 56, Morkel 5-54) by 271 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

South Africa reasserted their control on the opening Test in Dubai with Johan Botha and Morne Morkel combining to run through Pakistan and earn their team a significant advantage which had been extended to 271 by the close. Botha took three wickets during the morning session in a teasing spell, then after lunch Morkel wrapped up the innings with the second new ball to finish with for 5 for 54 and leave South Africa well placed to push for victory.

Pakistan's second-day fightback had created the possibility of a close-fought match, but that chance receded as the batting subsided in familiar fashion after reaching a promising 176 for 2. Their demise - from Younis Khan's dismissal to when Saeed Ajmal gave Morkel his fifth wicket - was 8 for 72, almost identical to South Africa's own collapse of 8 for 73 on Saturday. However, South Africa had already been given a significant cushion by their top order and Pakistan's latest batting failure left them with an almost irretrievable situation, especially as they are down to one frontline quick bowler.

South Africa didn't set pulses racing as they added to the lead but were intent on setting a base for acceleration tomorrow. Alviro Petersen and Graeme Smith were both unlucky to be given lbw by Asoka de Silva, although Smith had lived dangerously against the spinners, but Hashim Amla and Jacques Kallis accumulated steadily during the final session without extending themselves too far. Occasionally the pair used their feet, but largely they were content to keep the ball along the ground.

After a wayward start in the first 10 overs of Pakistan's innings on Saturday, which allowed the openers a racing start, South Africa became increasingly impressive in the field. Smith led them intelligently, rotating his quick bowlers to keep them fresh and allowing Botha, whose offspin has added a useful dimension to the team, a long spell to work over the batsmen. Younis showed some early intent, but Morkel and Dale Steyn didn't offer many scoring opportunities which meant when wickets started to fall the scoreboard hadn't moved very far.

Following an initial burst from the pacemen, spin was introduced and Botha quickly settled onto a testing length. There was a clear plan to get Younis working to the leg side and the reward came when a chip shot was well caught at short midwicket while the ball noticeably dusted the surface. Not a good sign for Pakistan's hopes when batting last.

Misbah-ul-Haq, Pakistan's fourth Test captain of the year, tried to lead by example as he set himself for a long innings, but was removed by an outstanding catch at short leg by Amla. Botha got another delivery to grip and it took the glove as Misbah played forward and Amla dived low to his left to grasp the chance inches off the turf.

The less said about Umar Akmal's attempt to build a Test innings the better. Two flamboyant cover drives showed he was in no mood to hang around and then, 15 minutes before lunch, he tried to heave a delivery over the leg side and lost so much control of the bat it ended up in one hand. The ball sailed straight up and landed in Steyn's hands at backward point. Umar left admonishing himself, but it felt a hollow gesture because the outcome was so predictable.

In complete contrast to Umar's self-destructiveness, Azhar Ali largely remained cocooned in his own defensive mindset but his reckless colleague could learn a few things about putting a price on the wicket. Occasionally, though, Azhar came out of his shell, with one boundary carved over cover against Kallis, and a loft off Paul Harris just over a leaping mid-on. Azhar's next attempt at dominating the spin was more convincing as he cleanly struck Harris straight, and his fifty came, off 144 balls, shortly before lunch.

Adnan Akmal showed aggression runs all the way through the family by opening his Test account with a crunching sweep off Botha, but was soon taught a lesson about the highest level when he was worked over by a high-class spell from Steyn with the new ball. Steyn, who is getting better the more he bowls after an injury lay-off, curved the ball away from the right hander until Adnan couldn't resist a drive and edged to Mark Boucher.

Then it was over to Morkel, South Africa's in-form bowler from the one-day series, as Abdur Rehman fenced to third slip with South Africa now on a surge. Azhar's impressive 172-ball resistance ended amid the collapse, but his dismissal was far less batsman error and much more fielding excellence as Amla pulled off another superb grab from Azhar's well-timed flick.

Wahab Riaz wasn't interested in seeing how long he could survive with an injured side and top-edged a wild leg-side heave, and Umar Gul, who launched Botha over midwicket for six, was left stranded when Ajmal gloved down the leg side to complete Morkel's haul. It was a clinical example of how to close out an innings and left Pakistan with a long battle to save the Test.

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on November 15, 2010, 7:57 GMT

    I would prefer nothing else other then a humiliating defeat for the Pakistan team. They need to hit rock bottom so there's no way but up after that before i'll start hoping for a win rather then pleading!

    - A dedicated Pakistani fan

  • Anver on November 15, 2010, 6:17 GMT

    SA must declare by tea on 4th day for a result...otherwise Paks will survive and will draw the match!!!!!!!!!

  • Dummy4 on November 15, 2010, 4:39 GMT

    Its not the blowers fires its Umpires who fires by given wrong decisions during the batting of Pakistan team and when Pakistan were blowing the third class umpires of were even not give the clearly plum outs how shame is this is for ICC and other umpires. i.e. the ball which Younis Khan got out that was clearly a no ball by john bota which have mentioned by Mich Haisman during the commentary i think at that time umpair was sleeping like jack. so many other decision are bad but i have no time to mention them all.

  • Dummy4 on November 14, 2010, 23:06 GMT

    No I dont think they deserve any kind of appreciation, this not the level of cricket we want to see because Pakistan team has always been a fighter team in the past but batting(test matches) is really bad now. if they continue like this they will lost every test series.

  • rao on November 14, 2010, 20:30 GMT

    who says its a poor performance by pakistan? half of the team is brand new to international cricket n none of new players has a regular experienced team mate to gain experience of the half of team members r making their come back.pak doesnt have a single regular test bowler in their team.still apart from umar akmal every batsman contributed some how n it was widely expected misbah wont perform at all.considering all the things happening all around pakistan team i think they r fighting hard n deserve appreciation. dont forget they r playing against the most organised and inform team of the world who r best in all departments of the game.this match should b over in 3 days n 1 session if u look at the difference between both teams.

  • Dummy4 on November 14, 2010, 19:53 GMT

    If the PCB had made logical decisions over the past couple of years and wasn't run by a clown the following would be the test and one day teams. Notice how the teams match the temperament for the format required and don't go on just talent. Also note how many of these players have not been offered consistent spots on the team roster or have been sidelined such as Asif, Amir, Butt and Haider. Large periods of time wasted for Yousuf and Younis due to drama.

    Test team - No Akmals here 1. Salman Butt 2. Taufeeq Umar 3. Younis Khan 4. Mhd Yousuf 5. Azhar Ali (solid as a rock) 6. Khurram Manzoor (showed discipline when he did come good) 7. zulqarnain haider (ideally suited for long format) 8. Mhd Asif 9. Mhd Ammir 10. Danish Kaneria 11. Umar Gul

    One day team - Put Akmals here. Akmals are senseless blasters!

    1. Kamran Akmal 2. Salman Butt 3. Younis Khan 4. Mhd Yousuf 5. Umar Akmal 6. Shahid Afridi 7. Abdul Razzaq 8. Mhd Amir 9 Umar Gul 10. Ajmal 11. Shoaib Akhtar

  • Dummy4 on November 14, 2010, 19:04 GMT

    When will SA learn that Harris is NOT a spinner of the ball. Give Robin Petersen a chance. He can at least bat too! If SA can't win the series 2-0 then it is a poor performance by SA because Pakistan are without Wahab Riaz & of course Asif & Aamir.

  • Ums on November 14, 2010, 17:50 GMT

    For Pakistan, its same old story. For SA, they may done well by taking handy lead, but keeping in mind of a weak opposition in all areas, SA performance is not that great. Pakistan playing test match with inexperienced bowlers except Gul and one got injured in due course and they could not even cross 400!!!!. Pakistan batsmen needs to understand the technique of staying at the crease by not blocking the balls. How come they find difficult to get singles!!!!

  • Iqbal on November 14, 2010, 17:34 GMT

    Yet another pathetic display by the Pakistani batsmen, and that too after discovering that they have to bowl without one of their regular bowlers, The main culprit is Misbah himself followed by our so-called promising star, Umar and the supposed mainstay of our batting, Younus. These three are actually the BACKBONE of our batting and should have taken upon themselves to lay the foundation for a reasonable score. Anyway, the milk has been spilled and there is no point in crying over it now. Pakistan can only hope for the best but we fans have to be prepared for the worst.

  • khurram on November 14, 2010, 16:33 GMT

    poor display from pakistan. i think coming bck from this stage is almost imposible. with 1 bowler short & batting in 4th inings on a slower track will be very dificult for pakistan. it sems tht umar akmal has no more temprament for tests. hav seen him in 6 test during england tour & seen him today. he is going no where. he has already ben droped in oDIs for performance i think same could b done in tests.gv Asad shafiq a chanc. top 4 did get starts but failed to go longer. 2nd new ball proved deadly for pakistan & thy scored so slow tht thy were way behind..i think SA will dec near 400.

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