Olivier triggers familiar Pakistan collapse




Olivier has tormented Pakistan this series.

Olivier has tormented Pakistan this series. © Getty

Just like the first session, the second session of the final Test between South Africa and Pakistan at the Wanderers, too, turned out to be exhilarating. Sarfraz Ahmed (50) and Babar Azam (49) put up a fine exhibition of stroke-play. However, once the duo was dismissed, Duanne Olivier scythed through the rest of the order to pick up a five-wicket haul, as Pakistan were bundled out for 185, trailing by 77 after the first innings. South Africa extended the lead and finished the second session 102 runs in front.

Pakistan began the afternoon session in a spot of bother at 111 for 5. It was Sarfraz who led from the front by exploring all parts of the ground. The wicketkeeper-batsman played an array of shots – he punched, drove, cut and flicked to the boundary hoardings.

Babar too looked in good nick as the pair strung together a stand of 78 in just over 10 overs. At that stage, South Africa were searching for answers and it was Kagiso Rabada, the spearhead, who provided the breakthrough by dismissing Safraz. Olivier, who has reigned supreme through the course of the series, then removed Babar. It was a soft dismissal as the middle order batsman pulled one straight into the hands of the fielder behind square on the on side. Olivier and Rabada also provided the finishing touches to snuff out the home side for a modest total.

Despite finding themselves behind in the game, Pakistan’s pacers bowled with penetration and also found success as Mohammad Amir picked up the scalp of Dean Elgar just before the break. Pakistan’s initial appeal for a caught behind against the opener was turned down but overturned on review.

Earlier, at the start of the day, South Africa would have hoped to make initial incisions. However, it didn’t go according to plan as they fluffed a slew of chances. In the 16th over, one of South Africa’s better slip fielders, Temba Bavuma, put down a simple chance in the slip cordon to give Mohammad Abbas a reprieve. It got worse for the home side, as in the very next over, Theunis de Bruyn fluffed one at second slip with Imam ul Haq getting a reprieve and Steyn being the unlucky bowler.

There was more misery in store for Steyn and South Africa, as Abbas eked out yet another edge only for Quinton de Kock to dive in front of Amla at first slip and put down the third chance of the morning. The misery piled on when the athletic de Kock dived full length for the second time in front of Amla as another chance went begging in the 24th over, with Imam being the lucky batsman once again.

Eventually, South Africa’s pacers were rewarded for their hard toil when Olivier induced Abbas to edge one to de Bruyn, and this time he didn’t make a mistake, pouching the catch safely. Olivier continued to trouble Pakistan’s batsmen as he banged one short to remove Shafiq. With a few minutes to go for the break, Imam, who lived a charmed life, was sent back to the pavilion by Philander.

Brief scores: South Africa 262 and 25/1 (Mohammad Amir 1-9) lead Pakistan 185 (Sarfraz Ahmed 50; Duanne Olivier 5-51) by 102 runs.

© Cricbuzz


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