Thursday, February 14, 2013

Analysis of the 1st Day of the 2nd South Africa versus Pakistan Test

Pakistan 253 for 5 (Shafiq 111*, Younis 111) v South Africa

Groundhog Day was the first thing that entered your mind as you watched the first hour of this second Test. That saw the excellent South African bowlers strangling the life out of the over matched Pakistani top order batsmen seeing them meekly surrender rather than choose to stand firm and battle it out.

33/4 with the all too common feeding of the behind the wicket fieldsmens from needless dabbles outside off and we all thought that the first Test humiliation of 49 was under threat.

Then we were greeted by a sight that we least expected with the Pakistani pair of Younus Khan and Asad Shafiq deciding to fight. In a 219 run partnership that reminded us all of the respected warrior like mannerisms of Younus as well as introducing us to one of Test Crickets brightest young stars in Asad Shafiq. Refreshingly, it also reminded us that this Pakistani Team had indeed taken some real blows in this series that in Boxing parlances has seen them knocked down in the first round and exposed to a standing 8 count here.

But are not yet willing to give up with their new found resilience being shown in spades.

They also landed some subtle blows themselves with them exposing the soft under belly of the South African attack that was there for all to see in Australia in regards to South Africa's spin corps. A secondary line of the marvellous South African attack that is very much shielded by the brilliance of their pace trio, but on pitches like this where that pace attack loses its cutting edge outside of the new ball it is very easy to victimise as Pakistan showed

Both the batting heroes were graced with centuries with Younus adhering to a more grafting demeanour in his three figures compared to the youthful adventure of Asad. The partnership showed the docile nature of the pitch that has 400 written all over it for the Team batting first. A total that might be a stiff challenge now for Pakistan with the loss of Younus with stumps in sight. Leaving them to rely on Asad to continue with his excellent batting in the hope that he is supported by Pakistan's notoriously fragile 7-11 batsmen.

As for South Africa, despite the Pakistani fight, they still left this first day holding the whip handle in the contest with the dismissal of Younus. And with a near new ball in hand as the 2nd day starts, they will target to dismiss Pakistan for under 300

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