Home Sport Cricket Proteas up the intensity to cut through Pakistan batting order

Proteas up the intensity to cut through Pakistan batting order

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South Africa picked up four wickets in an extended morning session to keep Pakistan under pressure on day two of the second Test in Karachi on Friday.

Proteas speedster Anrich Nortjé was rewarded for bending his back on the second morning of the second Test against Pakistan. Picture: EPA

SOUTH Africa picked up four wickets in an extended morning session to keep Pakistan under pressure on day two of the second Test in Karachi on Friday.

Play started 15 minutes early after the final session on Thursday was rained and with the second ball of the day, Anrich Nortjé struck an enormous blow, when Babar Azam, who played superbly on the first day to make 77, threw his bat at wide delivery – which bounced a little more than he’d anticipated – and edged the ball to second slip, where Faf du Plessis took a good catch.

That wicket was just the lift the tourists needed and they utilised that energy well, with an intensity to their fielding which was often missing in the first Test.

Temba Bavuma, who dropped a sitter at slip on Thursday, made up for that with a brilliant run out of Fawad Alam. Swooping in from point, Bavuma, picked up the ball cleanly as Fawad attempted a quick single, released in the blink of an eye and threw down the stumps at the non-striker’s end with Fawad half-a-metre short of the crease.

The left-hander made 45, and his dismissal along with Babar’s allowed South Africa to control the tempo in the first session. Pakistan reached lunch on 229/7 with Faheem Ashraf on a very good 54, while Yasir Shah had yet to score.

Nortjé was very impressive in his two spells, bowling with excellent pace and using the short ball smartly. It was a bouncer that accounted for Mohammad Rizwan, who hooked one to fine leg where Kagiso Rabada completed the catch.

Keshav Maharaj again made good use of the new ball, with another accurate spell, and got reward for that when one that spun and bounced found the edge of Hasan Ali’s bat, with Dean Elgar taking an easy catch at slip.

Pakistan scored just 84 runs in the 38 overs, with all the South African bowlers displaying discipline, while the use of the short ball by Nortjé and Rabada was judicious.

Along with Maharaj, Nortjé has picked up three wickets and the tourists will be aiming to finish off the Pakistan tail as quickly as possible after lunch, to get their innings started on a pitch that for now still looks very good batting.

@shockerhess