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Saeed Ajmal mesmerised South Africa – 2nd Test vs. Pakistan

Zia Rana February 15, 2013

South Africa 5-139 (Faf du Plessis 28, Hashim Amal 25, Saeed Ajmal 5-41) trails Pakistan 338 (Younis Khan 111, Asad Shafiq 111, Vernon Philander 5-59) by 199 runs.

The master off spinner, Saeed Ajmal, made life difficult for the South African batsmen and ripped off their top order batting after Pakistan scored enough runs.

Pakistan scored 338 runs in their first innings and the Proteas managed to score 139 for the loss of five wickets in 60 overs.

The second day’s play of the second Test concluded on Friday, February 15, 2013, at Newlands, Cape Town.

Earlier, Pakistan commenced their innings at 5-253 in 90 overs, Asad Shafiq and Sarfraz Ahmed were occupying the crease for 111 and 0 runs respectively. The latter scored six runs in the first over as Asad Shafiq was caught by Graeme Smith at first slip off Vernon Philander on the very first ball he faced. Sarfraz Ahmed became the next victim after scoring 13 runs and Umar Gul was declared leg before wicket off Philander for a duck.

The visitors lost their eighth wicket at 268 in 95.5 overs as Tanvir Ahmed and Saeed Ajmal got together at the crease. They added 9 runs in the next over with a couple of fours and the partnership kept on flourishing while accumulating useful runs. The pair kept on frustrating the hosts and the third hundred of the innings was displayed on screen on the fourth ball of the 103rd over. Tanvir Ahmed was the most aggressive of the two, he was sending the ball out of the fence regularly and completed the fifty runs partnership for the ninth wicket in the 108th over.

Tanvir Ahmed was finally caught by Philander at mid-off at the bowling of Robin Peterson for 44 from 59 balls with 4 fours. The entire Pakistani team was finally bowled out for 338 after utilising 116.2 overs as Saeed Ajmal stood firm with 21 runs.

Vernon Philander was the supreme bowler with five wickets, Morne Morkel and Robin Peterson held two each whereas Dale Steyn claimed one wicket.

The South African captain, Graeme Smith, came out to open the innings along with Alviro Petersen and they were unable to score any run in the first two overs. Smith was dropped at 0 on the second ball of the next over by Younis Khan in the second slip off Umar Gul. Petersen hit the first four of the innings in the fourth over and Smith followed him in the seventh over. The score was enhanced to 31 in 11 overs when the Pakistani skipper, Misbah-ul-Haq, handed over the ball to Saeed Ajmal.

Saeed Ajmal - Excellent off spin bowling

Saeed Ajmal – Excellent off spin bowling

Saeed Ajmal got rid of Graeme Smith on the third ball of the 14th over when the batsman was declared leg before wicket on the review. Hashim Amla walked in next in the center as Alviro Petersen was caught smartly by Azhar Ali at forward short leg off Saeed Ajmal for 17. Faf du Plessis was the next batsman in as Hashim Amla kept on cruising from his end and the score was taken to 2-65 after 24 overs at the tea interval. Saeed Ajmal struck back again in the 32nd over when Hashim Amla was held lbw on the review for 25 runs.

The Proteas lost their third wicket at 84 as the prominent batsman, Jacques Kallis took guards at the wicket. The batsmen found it difficult to score the runs freely against the calculated bowling of the tourists and the first hundred of the innings appeared on board in the 39th over. Jacques Kallis was trapped lbw for just two runs off Saeed Ajmal on the second ball of the following over even after the batsman asked for a review. The problems were multiplied for the hosts when Faf du Plessis was caught superbly by Younis Khan at first slip off Saeed Ajmal again for 28 off 83 deliveries with 4 fours.

The fifth wicket went down at 109 after 47 overs as Dean Elgar got together with de Villiers. The two batsmen struggled and the boundaries were hard to find against the tight bowling of the visitors. AB de Villiers survived a strong lbw appeal from Saeed Ajmal and the rest of the Pakistani team on the final ball of the 54th over and the decision of the field umpire, Steve Davis, was retained by the third umpire. The Proteas reached 5-139 in 60 overs whereas AB de Villiers and Dean Elgar were at the crease with 24 and 11 runs accordingly.

Saeed Ajmal was the star performer and grabbed all the five wickets which fell in the first innings of the hosts’ innings.

Pakistan is in control of the game at the moment and a couple of wickets early in the morning will consolidate their position whereas South Africa will depend on two batsmen present in the park.

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