A glance at first day’s play – Proteas back on track after Tanvir’s burst | Pakistan Today

A glance at first day’s play – Proteas back on track after Tanvir’s burst

LAHORE: Pakistan won the toss and elected to bowl first, a decision that proved to be the right one immediately as debutant seamer Tanvir Ahmed reduced South Africa to a precarious 33-3 in no time.
The strongly built seamer was one of three changes to the Pakistan side from the first Test along with Mohammad Sami and Asad Shafiq. Tanvir made the ball talk bringing the ball in to the right-handers off the seam and making life difficult for the batsmen.
He first had Alviro Petersen out with only his third ball in Test cricket and in the very next over got the wicket of the immovable Hashim Amla although replays suggested that Amla did not nick it. Tanvir then had Graeme Smith caught behind to Adnan Akmal as South Africans were in serious trouble quite early into the day.
However veteran Jacques Kallis joined hands with AB de Villiers to do the rescue job. Both batsmen played Tanvir cautiously and scored boundaries of other bowlers. While Umar Gul also moved the ball to test the batsmen at times, Mohammad Sami who was making his umpteenth comeback to the side was as inconsistent as ever.
It was pretty frustrating to see Tanvir bowling appreciably well to trouble the batsmen with little or no support from the other end. Mohammad Sami was erratic and failed to bowl to one side of the wicket and went for runs. Gul bowled well in patches while Abdur Rehman could do little with no assistance from the pitch.
Meanwhile Kallis and de Villiers went about their innings positively as the pitch eased out in the post-lunch session. Kallis followed up his hundred in the last match with another hundred just before tea, his 37th in international cricket.
But it was Tanvir Ahmed again who removed the classy Kallis immediately after tea for 105 with a delivery which jagged back in after hitting the seam. Kallis and de Villiers’ partnership yielded 179 runs for the fourth wicket to steady the South African innings.
AB de Villiers also reached his hundred, his 11th in Test cricket as the South Africans consolidated their position. By the end of the day’s play South Africa had reached a firm 311-5 with de Villiers batting at 120 and Mark Boucher there at 26. For Pakistan Tanvir was clearly the pick of the bowlers with 4-67 on debut. First day belonged to the Proteas and Pakistan need to bowl well early on day two to peg them back.
The pitch has eased out and the bowlers will have to bend their backs and play the patience game and bowl the right lengths to force the batsmen into playing false shots.
Star of the day: It was a dream debut after a long wait for Tanvir Ahmed who took four wickets to help Pakistan keep a check on the South Africans. In the first session of the day Tanvir, who was getting appreciable movement of the seam, got rid of Alviro Petersen, Hashim Amla and Graeme Smith as South Africans were left reeling at 33-3.
Tanvir bowled tirelessly throughout the day and added the prize scalp of Jacques Kallis to end the day with superb figures of 4-67 off 16 overs. Indeed a star performance on debut.
Moment that Mattered: After being reduced to 33-3 in the first session of day one by Tanvir Ahmed South Africans needed something special to resurrect their innings. Jacques Kallis combined well with AB de Villiers to add 179 runs for the fourth wicket. Both batsmen played responsibly to thwart the Pakistani bowlers especially Tanvir to get Proteas back into the game.

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