Pakistan v South Africa, 2nd Test, Dubai, 1st day October 23, 2013

Tahir's maiden five-for makes it SA's day


South Africa 128 for 3 (Smith 67*) lead Pakistan 99 (Babar 25*, Tahir 5-32, Steyn 3-38) by 29 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Imran Tahir announced his comeback to Test cricket with a maiden five-wicket haul that embarrassed Pakistan as they were bowled out for 99 on the first day of the second Test in Dubai. Graeme Smith then steered his team into the lead towards the end of the day with an unbeaten half-century and with seven wickets in hand, South Africa have already taken charge of the Test.

The day belonged to Tahir, whose last Test figures in Adelaide had read 37-1-260-0. He picked up three wickets in the last ten minutes of the first session and then added two more early in the second as Pakistan collapsed to 99 - their third-lowest score against South Africa - in just 36.4 overs.

Two of those wickets, including that of Misbah-ul-Haq, came in the last over before lunch after Dale Steyn had removed Younis Khan in the penultimate one, meaning Pakistan had all but frittered away the advantage of batting first on a pitch that is expected to aid the spinners later in the Test.

Tahir was introduced as early as the 12th over of the innings, but bowled too full in his first few overs. Azhar Ali and Shan Masood, who were making gradual progress, were both happy to push him straight down the ground for comfortable singles. But one such full delivery caught the inside edge of Masood's bat and hit the stumps after hitting his back leg.

The second wicket was the big one though as Tahir bowled a flighted googly to which Misbah played outside the line and was hit right in front of the middle. Misbah reviewed the decision, but there wasn't much of a case for him. The third one was off a quicker delivery that Adnan Akmal chose to play on the back foot, but it skidded past the inside edge on to the stumps to leave Pakistan in tatters. Pakistan were reduced from 52 for 2 to 60 for 6 in a matter of minutes as Tahir found the right length on the pitch.

Pakistan hopes for some resistance in the second session disappeared as soon as Saeed Ajmal was run out by a direct hit. Then, Tahir picked up two more wickets in an over - Asad Shafiq went for a slog and missed a straighter one while Mohammad Irfan missed a googly. Babar played a few shots but despite a 23-run stand for the last wicket, he didn't stand in the way for Pakistan's second sub-100 score in Dubai. Steyn, who had set the tone of the day with a perfect outswinger to dismiss Khurram Manzoor in his first over after being deemed fit in the morning, cleaned up Junaid Khan to collect his third wicket of the innings with a reverse-swinging full delivery.

South Africa, as Smith had said at the toss, wanted to make first use of the pitch and their bowlers made sure they were in to bat midway in the second session.

Pakistan took to the field desperately seeking wickets, and they used both their reviews within five overs - once when Irfan hit Graeme Smith on the pads and the next time when the slip cordon was convinced Alviro Petersen had gloved one to the keeper - but both were turned down. Pakistan eventually struck through Zulfiqar Babar, who beat Petersen with an arm-ball and trapped him in front in his first over. Petersen belatedly asked for a review, but that call became the sixth review on the day to be turned down.

Run-making had remained difficult throughout the day with two quality bowling attacks in operation and a slow outfield, but Smith and Dean Elgar, Hashim Amla's replacement in the XI, added 54 runs for the second wicket, helping the team inch towards Pakistan's total. The home team were slightly set back in their attack as Babar split his webbing and had to leave the field for almost an hour. Ajmal, though, was deriving enough turn from the pitch to trouble the batsmen regularly. He was rewarded with the wickets of Elgar and Jacques Kallis in the last hour.

Smith went past his 38th Test half-century, but with four days and a lot of spin bowling to be negotiated, South Africa need to ward off any complacency by keeping an eye on the scorecard of the previous Test at this venue.

Devashish Fuloria is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on October 27, 2013, 12:59 GMT

    There shoud have been a third test ; I dont understand. What can we learn from playin two test ; not much. One good performance and one bad performance. I think is by time the ICC should wake up the administrators are killing the game. SA is the no 1 test playing nation they should play atleast 3 to 5 test against any side

  • ESPN on October 26, 2013, 16:38 GMT

    there should be 3 tests

  • Basil on October 24, 2013, 7:31 GMT

    There shoud have been a third test ; I dont understand. What can we learn from playin two test ; not much. One good performance and one bad performance. I think is by time the ICC should wake up the administrators are killing the game. SA is the no 1 test playing nation they should play atleast 3 to 5 test against any side

  • Deon on October 24, 2013, 7:03 GMT

    yesterday i said smith is not going to make runs. sorry smith! He looked so bad at the crease yesterday. very happy he is getting form. kallis is a bit of a worry.

  • sri on October 24, 2013, 7:02 GMT

    So many arm chair fans writing off Pak. This is test match guys there is always second chance. What if SA bundles out for 250 in first innings and the Pak openers give another solid partnership? Anything is possible. Pak bowlers will mostly do their job but their batsmen are inconsistent. But don't write off anyone. This coming from an Indian fan.

  • ESPN on October 24, 2013, 6:42 GMT

    I don't Know what is fuss about kallis and his average .he is one of the best all rounder of the century .if he is not performing in one or 2 series you can't object his class .so plz he is living legend . From Pakistan .

  • Dummy4 on October 24, 2013, 6:29 GMT

    Pak bowlers are pitching on middle & leg stump attack ....good for Smith. They should bowl on the off & outside the off stump to control the flow of runs against Smith. Don't pitch full or short. Still Pak can come back but depends how they bowl well today. They make sure lead shouldn't be cross 100.

  • Dummy4 on October 24, 2013, 6:15 GMT

    IN 2013 KALLIS has scored 160 run in 9 innings an average of 17.77

  • Asgar on October 24, 2013, 6:05 GMT


    You are misleading the entire cricket community by posting wrong stats here. How amazing that you mix the total stats in UAE as a current UAE? Why do you need to prove Kallis a better player here especially his figures are terrible in the current tour? Talk about current situations/scenarios & there is plenty room for you here but not about history as we knew all this & we have nothing to do with the past. I am neither fan of Kallis nor sachin or Sobers but fans sometimes over-hyping here.


    You can compare Kallis with likes of Klusener, Flintoff, Chris Cairns, Afridi, Razzak, Symcox, Jayasuriya, Imran & many others. He is marginally ahead of these but comparing him with Garfield is too much hype. He doesn't take any risks while scoring as like Andy Flower & Mudassar Nazir. Hence he can easily achieve such stats on his name. I agree he is better bowler than all rounder.

  • mohammed on October 24, 2013, 6:02 GMT

    As predicted three days ago!!! impossible for Pakistanis to play well in TWO test matches in a row. They are still sitting on their of the first test win. This also confirms that the genuine great bowlers like Marshall and Wasim Waqar and Imran and now Styen do not need green pitches to thrive on. I suggest another nail in the "D.K. Lillee was the greatest fast bowler" coffin.