Pakistan in South Africa 2012-13 February 19, 2013

'Pakistan took us to our limits' - Amla

ESPNcricinfo staff
19

Hashim Amla has paid tribute to Pakistan's spirited performance in the second Test at Newlands, saying the team had pushed South Africa "to our limits in certain respects".

"We were under pressure in our first innings, and then had to chase180 in the second," he said. "[It] was never going to be an easy total."

Pakistan scored 338 in the first innings, with centuries from Younis Khan and Asad Shafiq. South Africa could have dismissed them for less than 300, when they were 268 for 8, but a 74-run stand for the ninth wicket between Tanvir Ahmed and Saeed Ajmal took Pakistan to a competitive total.

After South Africa posted 326 in their first innings, Pakistan had a chance at victory, provided they could put together another substantial total. In the end they were dismissed for 169, leaving South Africa 182 to chase.

Amla believed Robin Peterson's 84 in the first innings helped close the gap on Pakistan, and ultimately proved the difference. "We all know the kind of work Robbie puts in behind the scenes, so it was wonderful to watch him oozing with confidence while he was batting," he said. "He also made a significant contribution with the ball and has become a recognised player in his own right."

Saeed Ajmal, who picked up 4 for 51 to go with his 6 for 96 in the first innings, along with Mohammad Irfan providing pace and bounce, ensured the chase wasn't easy and South Africa reached their target with four wickets in hand.

Amla was unperturbed about the team's modest batting performance. "It was not an easy wicket to bat on in the first innings - for both teams - and I wouldn't read too much into it."

South Africa dismissed Pakistan cheaply in the second innings despite Morne Morkel bowling only 3.1 overs before injuring his hamstring. Morkel will not play the third Test in Centurion, with Rory Kleinveldt slotted to take his place.

"Rory has become an integral part of the team, filling in whenever someone has been injured," Amla said. "Against New Zealand [in January 2013], he bowled really well and he's a quality performer. It's a lovely opportunity for Rory to cement his position as one of the leading bowlers in the country."

Despite securing the series with a 2-0 lead, Amla emphasised every game was important as it maintained a winning culture within the team. "A lot of us in the top order have got in, but haven't made massive contributions, so we're hungry to do that. The bowlers have enjoyed their wickets, and will want to keep on in that vein, so there is a lot to play for. This country is a very proud nation so we have a duty to uphold in that regard."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • zarasochozarasamjho on February 20, 2013, 15:56 GMT

    South Africa was never really pushed - as far as winning was concerned. At no stage was SA win in any REAL doubt as we all know it is just a matter of time when Pakistan will implode (We Pak supporters did hope though that we could win but hope is not equal to expectations). Poor batting, poor balling, and appalling fielding (SA low 1st innings score in first test was largely due to rare and brilliant fielding by Pakistan) does not put opposition under REAL and PROLONGED pressure. Individual performances do not win games on a REGULAR basis. Just refer to SA scorecards for both batting and bowling over the last 11 test series they have played. And do I need to comment on their fielding? They have 4 world class batsmen with high aggregates and average around 50. Their 3 main bowlers are at the top too in addition to Kallis. Hashim Amla is just being nice; decent guy that he is.

  • Wajahatt on February 20, 2013, 14:28 GMT

    Seems likes most of you haven't seen Pakistan play in recent times. Remember Pakistan wins with lowest targets against England? It was magic of Ajmal and Rehman that made Pakistan win.

    This deck offered little assistance to spinners and Ajmal was almost unplayable. Even Petersen was having fun with the roughness of the pitch. So, imagine what would have happened with Ajmal coupled with another class act like Rehman? It would have created a major difference.

    SA bowlers are good with the new ball but are pretty clueless when the ball is old. This pitch, with the assistance it offered to spinners, was Pakistan's best chance to level the series!

  • DeckChairand6pack on February 20, 2013, 13:12 GMT

    Pushed us to our limits...'in certain respects'. The Proteas had a few gears left. The regularity with which Pakistan choked at key moments during the Newlands match meant that the Proteas were never pushed 100% and into the red.

    Be nice if the 49ers can do that at Centurion. That is as likely as another catastrophic batting collapse. Lets see which Pakistan team rocks up!

  • amar_mani on February 20, 2013, 10:46 GMT

    Very calm cricketer...very mature comments...same sense of calmness weather he bats or he talks

  • rocknrola on February 20, 2013, 9:16 GMT

    @ Wajahatt : In Cricket there is no 'If' and 'Then'. We can say that If Steyn had bowled like he did in first test the match would have been completed in 3 days. But things doesn't happen until they are done. All we can say is Pak gave good fight against SA than any other team in recent past (except Aus).

  • HashmiMA on February 20, 2013, 9:08 GMT

    Under current circumstances Pak should go with the following bowling options: Irfan, Junaid, Saeed Ajmal, & Abdul Rehman.

    Never seen Umar Gul performing in a test for past 6 years already, we are a nation used to see bowlers like Imran, Sarfaraz, Wasim, Waqar, & Shoaib who were regular and consistent performers. Umar Gul with all due respect simply do not fall in same catagory, so lets drop him for a balanced bowling attack in final test. Giving a chance to Ehsan Adil as support bowler would be a better bet rather than going with Umar Gul again n again.

    In Batting we have not much options left, only possibility is to change one of the openers but I dont thing that we should change them after just 2 tests only, give them another test to make ammends.

  • on February 20, 2013, 9:03 GMT

    well testing to limits are not enough to beat any team. SA is mentally strong team and 2 things make a strong team, A- never take pressure and b) all members take responsibility. SA showed both, they were down on 2nd day but robin played match wining ininngs out of no where ( i think many SA fans would not have though so as well ) . And almost all have participated in some way.

    whereas pak had 2 100s a 10 for but rest nothing there. you need team effort to beat big teams not individual performances.

  • on February 20, 2013, 8:49 GMT

    SA is very hard to beat because each player contribute in one or the other matches. In the second test where top order failed peterson contributed with the bat to cut off the lead,whereas in pakistan only 2 or 3 players contribute in a match which resulted in their loss in newlands.

  • mthi4life on February 20, 2013, 8:28 GMT

    Ajmal had assistance in Newlands (Pitch Dry),Smith(Batting last),SA batsman(trying to score 4 per over on a day four dry pitch),he will not have that in Centurion.Philander and Co.will be a handful for the Pakistani batsman.They will leave this Test Series knowing that in the UAE they will get their revenge.

  • on February 20, 2013, 6:58 GMT

    @Aravind.Koushik: I will be delighted to see this sort of your love to Biff when India tours SA this year... India never had any Wasim nor they r going to get any.. LOLZ

  • zarasochozarasamjho on February 20, 2013, 15:56 GMT

    South Africa was never really pushed - as far as winning was concerned. At no stage was SA win in any REAL doubt as we all know it is just a matter of time when Pakistan will implode (We Pak supporters did hope though that we could win but hope is not equal to expectations). Poor batting, poor balling, and appalling fielding (SA low 1st innings score in first test was largely due to rare and brilliant fielding by Pakistan) does not put opposition under REAL and PROLONGED pressure. Individual performances do not win games on a REGULAR basis. Just refer to SA scorecards for both batting and bowling over the last 11 test series they have played. And do I need to comment on their fielding? They have 4 world class batsmen with high aggregates and average around 50. Their 3 main bowlers are at the top too in addition to Kallis. Hashim Amla is just being nice; decent guy that he is.

  • Wajahatt on February 20, 2013, 14:28 GMT

    Seems likes most of you haven't seen Pakistan play in recent times. Remember Pakistan wins with lowest targets against England? It was magic of Ajmal and Rehman that made Pakistan win.

    This deck offered little assistance to spinners and Ajmal was almost unplayable. Even Petersen was having fun with the roughness of the pitch. So, imagine what would have happened with Ajmal coupled with another class act like Rehman? It would have created a major difference.

    SA bowlers are good with the new ball but are pretty clueless when the ball is old. This pitch, with the assistance it offered to spinners, was Pakistan's best chance to level the series!

  • DeckChairand6pack on February 20, 2013, 13:12 GMT

    Pushed us to our limits...'in certain respects'. The Proteas had a few gears left. The regularity with which Pakistan choked at key moments during the Newlands match meant that the Proteas were never pushed 100% and into the red.

    Be nice if the 49ers can do that at Centurion. That is as likely as another catastrophic batting collapse. Lets see which Pakistan team rocks up!

  • amar_mani on February 20, 2013, 10:46 GMT

    Very calm cricketer...very mature comments...same sense of calmness weather he bats or he talks

  • rocknrola on February 20, 2013, 9:16 GMT

    @ Wajahatt : In Cricket there is no 'If' and 'Then'. We can say that If Steyn had bowled like he did in first test the match would have been completed in 3 days. But things doesn't happen until they are done. All we can say is Pak gave good fight against SA than any other team in recent past (except Aus).

  • HashmiMA on February 20, 2013, 9:08 GMT

    Under current circumstances Pak should go with the following bowling options: Irfan, Junaid, Saeed Ajmal, & Abdul Rehman.

    Never seen Umar Gul performing in a test for past 6 years already, we are a nation used to see bowlers like Imran, Sarfaraz, Wasim, Waqar, & Shoaib who were regular and consistent performers. Umar Gul with all due respect simply do not fall in same catagory, so lets drop him for a balanced bowling attack in final test. Giving a chance to Ehsan Adil as support bowler would be a better bet rather than going with Umar Gul again n again.

    In Batting we have not much options left, only possibility is to change one of the openers but I dont thing that we should change them after just 2 tests only, give them another test to make ammends.

  • on February 20, 2013, 9:03 GMT

    well testing to limits are not enough to beat any team. SA is mentally strong team and 2 things make a strong team, A- never take pressure and b) all members take responsibility. SA showed both, they were down on 2nd day but robin played match wining ininngs out of no where ( i think many SA fans would not have though so as well ) . And almost all have participated in some way.

    whereas pak had 2 100s a 10 for but rest nothing there. you need team effort to beat big teams not individual performances.

  • on February 20, 2013, 8:49 GMT

    SA is very hard to beat because each player contribute in one or the other matches. In the second test where top order failed peterson contributed with the bat to cut off the lead,whereas in pakistan only 2 or 3 players contribute in a match which resulted in their loss in newlands.

  • mthi4life on February 20, 2013, 8:28 GMT

    Ajmal had assistance in Newlands (Pitch Dry),Smith(Batting last),SA batsman(trying to score 4 per over on a day four dry pitch),he will not have that in Centurion.Philander and Co.will be a handful for the Pakistani batsman.They will leave this Test Series knowing that in the UAE they will get their revenge.

  • on February 20, 2013, 6:58 GMT

    @Aravind.Koushik: I will be delighted to see this sort of your love to Biff when India tours SA this year... India never had any Wasim nor they r going to get any.. LOLZ

  • edgie on February 20, 2013, 6:37 GMT

    @Wajahatt, no matter who you bring in, Pakistan will still not beat the Proteas. Best Spin bowler in the world, Proteas still won. 7ft fast bowler? Proteas still won, one of the best test players in the world in Younus Khan? Proteas still beat them. So, Wajahatt, your "flawed" logic that the addition of just one player woudl have won Pakistan the test is, sad...

  • Aravind.Koushik on February 20, 2013, 3:50 GMT

    Only if Pakistani fans wish Wasim Akram had played in the Second Test could have they won the second test LOL ! 12 series without a defeat for Biff now ! Keep going Biff, we love you !!!

  • on February 19, 2013, 19:52 GMT

    @wajahat

    sorry sir but i think you lack a lil bit of knowledge, its SOUTH AFRICA we are playing. Playing 2 spinners is not an option. I think Ehsan Adil will debut in the third test against SA.

  • HennopsRiverEnd on February 19, 2013, 19:44 GMT

    A series of "IF's"...*smh* just accept defeat and look forward to more good contests.

  • on February 19, 2013, 19:10 GMT

    Pakistan never bats sensibly; never have; never will. The selectors find weak pacers to replace deserving ones. PCB is a mess and its a miracle that the team is still performing so well despite their meddling. Amla is too much of a gentleman to say anything negative. The truth is: Pakistan has one of the weakest batting line-ups, totally incapable of playing the fiery Stein Gang.

  • Smahuta on February 19, 2013, 18:21 GMT

    Yes Wajahatt and if Morkel were not injured Pak would have been bowled out for less than 100...Speculation is a great thing yes?

  • SevereCritic on February 19, 2013, 18:07 GMT

    Ajmal is a class act -- clearly the best spinner in modern cricket. Pakistan's strength is bowling. Should play the second spinner to complement Ajmal in the 3rd test. Maybe Abdur Rehman can play instead of a pacer.

  • Wajahatt on February 19, 2013, 17:52 GMT

    Hello Amla!

    If Abdur Rehman were playing this match -- your team would have lost the match.

    Pity the Pakistanis never learn. :)

    Good luck for the clean sweep!

  • shahzadparacha on February 19, 2013, 17:50 GMT

    If only Pakistan could have batted more sensibly they may have won this second test.

    Anyways, Amla's knock in second Innings was crucial but was dismissed of a beauty by Saeed Ajmal.

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  • shahzadparacha on February 19, 2013, 17:50 GMT

    If only Pakistan could have batted more sensibly they may have won this second test.

    Anyways, Amla's knock in second Innings was crucial but was dismissed of a beauty by Saeed Ajmal.

  • Wajahatt on February 19, 2013, 17:52 GMT

    Hello Amla!

    If Abdur Rehman were playing this match -- your team would have lost the match.

    Pity the Pakistanis never learn. :)

    Good luck for the clean sweep!

  • SevereCritic on February 19, 2013, 18:07 GMT

    Ajmal is a class act -- clearly the best spinner in modern cricket. Pakistan's strength is bowling. Should play the second spinner to complement Ajmal in the 3rd test. Maybe Abdur Rehman can play instead of a pacer.

  • Smahuta on February 19, 2013, 18:21 GMT

    Yes Wajahatt and if Morkel were not injured Pak would have been bowled out for less than 100...Speculation is a great thing yes?

  • on February 19, 2013, 19:10 GMT

    Pakistan never bats sensibly; never have; never will. The selectors find weak pacers to replace deserving ones. PCB is a mess and its a miracle that the team is still performing so well despite their meddling. Amla is too much of a gentleman to say anything negative. The truth is: Pakistan has one of the weakest batting line-ups, totally incapable of playing the fiery Stein Gang.

  • HennopsRiverEnd on February 19, 2013, 19:44 GMT

    A series of "IF's"...*smh* just accept defeat and look forward to more good contests.

  • on February 19, 2013, 19:52 GMT

    @wajahat

    sorry sir but i think you lack a lil bit of knowledge, its SOUTH AFRICA we are playing. Playing 2 spinners is not an option. I think Ehsan Adil will debut in the third test against SA.

  • Aravind.Koushik on February 20, 2013, 3:50 GMT

    Only if Pakistani fans wish Wasim Akram had played in the Second Test could have they won the second test LOL ! 12 series without a defeat for Biff now ! Keep going Biff, we love you !!!

  • edgie on February 20, 2013, 6:37 GMT

    @Wajahatt, no matter who you bring in, Pakistan will still not beat the Proteas. Best Spin bowler in the world, Proteas still won. 7ft fast bowler? Proteas still won, one of the best test players in the world in Younus Khan? Proteas still beat them. So, Wajahatt, your "flawed" logic that the addition of just one player woudl have won Pakistan the test is, sad...

  • on February 20, 2013, 6:58 GMT

    @Aravind.Koushik: I will be delighted to see this sort of your love to Biff when India tours SA this year... India never had any Wasim nor they r going to get any.. LOLZ