Hasan strikes to leave South Africa struggling again despite Nortje haul

By Sports Desk February 05, 2021

South Africa face a battle to avoid another first-innings deficit after Anrich Nortje's fine work with the ball was undone by a rocky reply to Pakistan's 272 in the second Test.

Pakistan had made 145-3 on day one before rain intervened and Nortje was the cause of their frustration when play resumed on Friday, snaring 5-56 to put the hosts in the field before tea.

But the Proteas' solid early efforts with the bat - including a string of boundaries - were disrupted by Hasan Ali, who removed Dean Elgar (15) and Rassie van der Dussen from consecutive deliveries.

With those wickets right at the end of the second session, the day turned and Faf du Plessis followed to Faheem Ashraf for 17.

Nauman Ali - sublime in the first Test as Pakistan dominated - then teed up a simple but crucial catch for Shaheed Afridi to remove Aiden Markram (32), reducing South Africa to 81-4 before a mini-recovery to 106 without further loss preceded the close of play.

It ended a day of two halves as the Proteas, just like a day earlier, enjoyed a productive first session, with Babar Azam unable to add to his overnight score of 77, edging Nortje to second slip from just the second ball of the day.

Fawad Alam (45), who had held up the other end of a vital partnership on Thursday, swiftly followed, too, run out with a superb direct hit from Temba Bavuma.

Faheem steadied the Pakistan innings slightly, although Nortje's decision to take the second new ball soon paid dividends as he halted Mohammad Rizwan (18) in his next over.

That dismissal ended a promising stand of 41 and Faheem eventually ran out of partners, still unbeaten on 78 as Nortje concluded the innings and his five-for with fierce deliveries to Nauman and Shaheen in the same over.

Only if South Africa can regain some composure with the bat will Nortje be able to celebrate his contribution to a much-needed win, which would be their first in 14 Tests on the subcontinent.


HASAN ALI HAVING HIS SAY

Hasan has endured a tough time with injury in the past few years, returning to the Test arena in this series for the first time since January 2019. If the fast bowler was merely playing a supporting role to the spinners in the opening match last week, this was a more telling contribution, potentially changing the course of the result.

SOUTH AFRICA TURN TO SKIPPER

Quinton de Kock would appear to be taking charge of his final Test match as South Africa captain but may now have to rediscover his best form to make sure it is not a losing swan song. The skipper has not made a Test fifty since January 2020 or a hundred since October 2019, yet the Proteas were reeling as he arrived at the crease on Friday, able to settle the innings a little by dashing to an unbeaten 24 at stumps.

Related items

  • Test and T20 balance 'like a Rubik's cube', says former England captain Strauss Test and T20 balance 'like a Rubik's cube', says former England captain Strauss

    Former England captain Andrew Strauss has likened the puzzle of balancing Test and T20 cricket to the complications of "a Rubik's cube" but is optimistic both forms can coexist together.

    The announced launch of new white-ball leagues, including the South Africa T20 League and International League T20 in the United Arab Emirates, has further outlined the dominance of the short-form game.

    England are set to return to Test cricket this month with a three-game series against South Africa, but the long-term future of the sport's five-day format remains a pressing question.

    Strauss acknowledges the challenges presented to balance the two forms are "complicated" within a fast-changing game, but still reasons there is a place for both providing officials do not bury "our heads in the sand".

    "The cricket world around us is changing unbelievably quickly," Strauss was quoted by the Guardian. "Every day, every week, every month, we're seeing a new example of how that world is changing.

    "We're having to ask ourselves in this country, where does our game fit into that? We [need to] make sure that we have incentives there for our players to play both red-and-white-ball cricket.

    "Of course, the ECB have put a lot of time and attention and effort into [giving] the Hundred the potential to be a global short-form event that matches any of these other leagues.

    "One of the things that we need to be conscious of in the game in this country is we have to be nimble and adaptable. We can't afford to be slow moving and have our heads in the sand.

    "We need to continue promoting all the brilliant things cricket in this country offers players – we want to have a strong domestic game, and we want to make sure the players are playing the right balance of formats.

    "I still maintain they can sit together comfortably, Test cricket and T20 cricket. But the challenge we have is, can we produce a manageable schedule that allows players to do both?

    "That is really complicated. It's multi-dimensional. It's like a big Rubik's Cube."

    Strauss will be on hand this Thursday for the second day of England's Test against South Africa, when Lord's will host its annual Red for Ruth day in memory of the ex-captain's late wife, who passed from lung cancer in 2018.

    Ben Stokes' side are looking to maintain their rich vein of form, with the team unbeaten since he succeeding Joe Root as captain earlier this year.

  • Uncapped teenager Moodie named in Springboks squad for Australia tour Uncapped teenager Moodie named in Springboks squad for Australia tour

    Uncapped utility back Canan Moodie has been called up to the South Africa squad for the first time for the tour of Australia.

    Moodie was included in a 34-man squad on Monday for two Rugby Championship encounters with the Wallabies.

    The 19-year-old gets the nod in the absence of suspended wing Kurt-Lee Arendse and fellow flyer Cheslin Kolbe, who is recovering from a broken jaw.

    Deon Fourie has also been selected, with hooker Bongi Mbonambi facing four weeks on the sidelines due to a knee injury sustained in training last week.

    The world champions are smarting from a 35-23 defeat to New Zealand at Ellis Park on Saturday and will get an opportunity to respond at Adelaide Oval on August 27, with Australia also licking their wounds following a 48-17 drubbing at the hands of Argentina.

    Springboks head coach Jacques Nienaber said: "Bongi has been ruled out for four weeks, but Deon, who is an experienced hooker and flank, has been practising his lineout throws with us, so we are confident that he will be able to fill that void for us in these matches.

    "We are also excited to see how Canan slots in during the next few weeks and to see how he adapts to our structures and systems, and we believe he has the skills to slot in for Kurt-Lee and Cheslin.

    "This is a settled group of players and includes a wide spread of experience and young players who have made their presence felt, and we believe that they have what it takes to guide us back on track in the Rugby Championship in the matches against Australia."

     

    South Africa squad to tour Australia: 

    Forwards: Steven Kitshoff, Vincent Koch, Frans Malherbe, Ox Nche, Trevor Nyakane, Joseph Dweba, Malcolm Marx, Eben Etzebeth, Lood de Jager, Salmaan Moerat, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Siya Kolisi (captain), Elrigh Louw, Kwagga Smith, Jasper Wiese, Duane Vermeulen, Deon Fourie, Franco Mostert.

    Backs: Faf de Klerk, Jaden Hendrikse, Herschel Jantjies, Cobus Reinach, Elton Jantjies, Handre Pollard, Lukhanyo Am, Damian de Allende, Andre Esterhuizen, Makazole Mapimpi, Willie le Roux, Canan Moodie, Warrick Gelant, Damian Willemse, Jesse Kriel, Frans Steyn.

     

  • Elgar warns England 'I didn't come here to play second fiddle' Elgar warns England 'I didn't come here to play second fiddle'

    Dean Elgar is determined to "throw a bit more respect into the badge" when South Africa face "beatable" England in a three-match Test series.

    The Proteas have won three and drawn one of their past four series in the longest format, including a 2-1 victory over India.

    South Africa are also sitting pretty at the top of the World Test Championship table and are third in the rankings ahead of an opening match against Ben Stokes' side that starts at Lord's on Wednesday.

    England have enjoyed a dream start to a new era with Stokes as captain and Brendon McCullum head coach, whitewashing New Zealand 3-0 and beating India in a rearranged Test to draw the series 2-2.

    Yet visiting captain Elgar is backing the tourists to maintain the momentum and bring England back down to earth.

    The opening batter said: "I don't play to lose. I absolutely despise losing. And if we play an average brand [of cricket], or we're not putting our best foot forward, and we don't have results going our way, then that affects me quite a bit.

    "This is a massive series for all of us. I think we've got 17 players and it's massive for all 17 of us to go out there, play a brand of cricket that appeals to South Africans and ultimately gives us the best chance of winning in England. We've seen it happen in the past before, so we know it can be done."

    Elgar says South Africa will not cross the line with the verbals, but expects words to be exchanged in the middle.

    "In the heat of battle, there's always something that comes out," he said. "Let's put it that way. I just want to play three really, really hard Test matches and go out there and put the badge on the line and throw a bit more respect into the badge."

    He added: "We played against the best in the world last year [India, who were top of the rankings at the time], and I think we did things that we didn't quite expect to do at that time.

    "So the standard that we've set and the bar that we've raised since last year has happened pretty naturally just out of us doing good things on the field again.

    "It's gonna be a tough series, no doubt. They are a proud cricketing nation and I respect that. But I know they are definitely beatable. I didn't come here to play second fiddle. I came here to win a series."

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.