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November 14, 2010
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 CricinfoFeeds: Andrew McGlashan
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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