South African leg-spinner Imran Tahir came up with a career-best spell of bowling to wrap up Pakistan's first innings of the Dubai Test for just 99. Tahir took 5 for 32 in 13 overs. Tahir finished with 3-98 and took a total of eight wickets in the match. All AFP images.
Along with Tahir, Test cricket's leading pacer Dale Steyn wrecked havoc to break the back of the Pakistan top and middle order by getting rid of in-form Khurram Manzoor and experienced Younis Khan in the first innings. Steyn took 3 for 38 in 13.4 overs.
South African skipper Graeme Smith showed his class as a top Test batsman as he reached his fifth double century, after a gap of five and a half years. Smith scored 234 from 338 balls and hit 16 fours in his marathon knock. This was his 27th Test hundred.
Smith was ably supported by star wicket-keeper AB de Villiers, who scored 164 from 274 balls with the help of 17 fours and a six. De Villiers added 338 runs for the fifth wicket with Smith as South Africa looked to bat Pakistan out of the contest.
Mohd Irfan took three wickets in all to bring the South African innings to a close at 517. The Proteas registered a whopping 418-run lead.
South African bowlers had a dream start as Pakistan lost their openers for just 2 runs on board inside the first two overs at tea on Day 3, staring at a massive 416-run deficit with more than two days to go. However, in the post-tea session the South African march was marred by a ball-tampering controversy as TV replays showed fielder Faf du Plessis rubbing the ball on his trousers which had a zip on them, in an attempt to tamper with the ball. As a penalty to South Africa, 5 runs were added to the Pakistan score and the ball was replaced.
Experienced former Pakistan skipper Younis Khan tried to lay a solid foundation with a 102-ball 36 but he was out bowled by JP Duminy as Pakistan lost their fourth wicket at the score of 70.
Once again the responsibility of taking the team out of the doldrums rests on skipper Misbah-ul Haq, who so far has managed to keep the South African bowlers at bay. Pakistan ended Day 3 at 132 for 4, still trailing by a whopping 286 runs.
Asad Shafiq made 130 with 15 fours and a six while captain Misbah-ul-Haq scored 88 before part-time spinner Dean Elgar broke through and Pakistan was eventually bowled out for 326 late on the fourth day.
Pakistan's tailenders fell to the spin of JP Duminy (3-67) and Imran Tahir (3-98) with 9.5 overs to go in the day's play.
South African skipper Graeme Smith praised his team. "It was an outstanding four days for us, to respond in these conditions where I don't think Pakistan have lost before. We got most things right in this game. Anytime you bowl a team out for 99 you've gone way ahead in the Test match," said Smith.
South Africa kept their seven-year unbeaten away record intact with an innings and 92-run win over Pakistan in the second and final Test in Dubai on Saturday, squaring the two-match series 1-1.
Oct 23 2016,13:30 (IST)
Oct 21 2016,11:30 (IST)
Oct 20 2016,09:30 (IST)
Oct 20 2016,13:30 (IST)
Oct 16 2016,13:30 (IST)