About the Match
Pakistan avenged its earlier series loss to South Africa by convincingly winning the 1st test at Abu Dhabi. They now move to Dubai to play another test to be played on 23rd October. The brilliant centuries by Hashim Amla for South Africa and Khurram Manzoor and Misbah-Ul-Haq for Pakistan came at the right juncture and will be remembered for quite some time. The pitch assisted bowlers of all types and batsmen sportingly and it was the job of the bowlers to exploit the conditions to help their team realize victory. That was done better by Pakistan and hence their win with a huge margin. The 2nd match will be an interesting contest with both teams looking to dominate the match right from the start.
Smith and his men couldn’t capitalize on the conditions after electing to bat first upon winning the toss and the openers succumbed to the fast bowling of Irfan. Kallis too did not survive and it was left to centurion Hashim Amla to hold one end and guide the others to defend, rotating the strike. None could live up to the expectation, except for Steyn and Duminy who in the company of Amla, brought some respect to the total. Philander and Steyn extracted assistance from the pitch and picked up 3 Pakistan wickets each. De Villiers did well behind the wicket supporting the bowling efforts of Philander, the combination accounting for 2 victims in each of the Pakistan innings. Smith tried to change the batting order in the 2nd innings, firstly, by taking strike in 2nd innings, allowing time for Petersen to settle and then promoting Steyn up the batting order. The application by the batsmen in tackling the Pakistani attack was left much to be desired and the innings folded up with less than 50 runs target for a Pakistan win. The team will have to pull up its socks and perform better in the second match.
The conditions were favorable for the team with effective fast and spin bowling in their armory. Debutant Zulfiqur Babar spun the ball well and took 3 and 2 wickets each in the two innings. Irfan, with able support from the fielders, wicket keeper Akmal in particular, did the damage to the Proteas in both the innings; Saeed Ajmal and Junaid Khan bowled well to restrict the opponents. Debutant Shan Masood opened the innings with Khurram Manzoor and provided a solid opening stand of 135 in the 1st innings and thus laid the foundation for the win. Manzoor and Misbah batted with purpose and scored centuries in building an imposing total. They did not have to struggle much in scoring the required runs in the 2nd innings and won the match comfortably, with a day to spare. The team is looking confident and will try to continue with their winning performance here.
South Africa needs to improve its bowling attack, which lacks variety at the moment and their sagging strength in batting is another matter to worry. The efficiency in fielding is not getting the required support by batsmen and bowlers, whereas Pakistan has proved its strength in all departments; fast and spin bowling, fielding and batting. Pakistan has the required answers for every South African question and will try to destroy the dreams of the Proteas yet again.
South Africa, 2.15 @ Bet365