By BV Swagath
Pakistan who suffered a heavy defeat in the opening Test at the Wanderers have bounced back in style to sit in the driver’s seat in the ongoing Second Test at Cape Town. The Pakistanis have a great opportunity of setting up this Test match in their favour after reducing the hosts to 139 for 5 by stumps on Day 2 in reply to their first innings total of 338. Saeed Ajmal single handedly destroyed the cream of the South African batting line-up taking all the five wickets to go down.
Before Ajmal’s destruction, the Pakistanis did exceedingly well to stretch their overnight total of 253 for 5 to 338 all out by lunch time. This was despite Asad Shafiq falling early to Philander and not adding a single run to his overnight score of 111. Tanvir Ahmed did all the difference coming in at no.8 to score a precious 44 (from 59 balls with 4 fours). Saeed Ajmal provided him with admirable support scoring an unbeaten 21 and surviving 65 balls. For the Proteas, Vernon Philander finished with a 9th five-wicket haul of his career.
Saeed Ajmal provided the first breakthrough for Pakistan by trapping Graeme Smith lbw in an attempted sweep shot with the Proteas putting up 36 runs on the board. He then had Alviro Petersen caught bat pad with an inside edge and then used another review to get an lbw in his favour, this time it was Hashim Amla’s wicket at stake. South Africa lost two more wickets that of Kallis (lbw) and Faf du Plessis edging a doosra to slip to leave SA at 109 for 5.
By the close of play, AB de Villiers (24*) along with Dean Elgar (11*) pushed the score to 139 for 5 in 60 overs. South Africa are still trailing by a huge deficit of 199 runs on a pitch that is allowing good amount of turn. Ajmal has already caused irreparable damage with figures of 25-8-41-5.