South Africa found themselves at a vulnerable 259 for 6 at stumps on the opening day’s play of the second and final Test at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore. The visitors lost all their batsmen in the day’s play with the exception of Mark Boucher which has left the Pakistan team in a great advantage in this match. Seven overs were lost in the day’s play because of bad light.
Graeme Smith won the toss and decided to bat first on what looks to be a spinner friendly track. The Pakistanis brought back Mohammad Yousuf and Inzamam-ul-Haq (who is playing his last test) for Mohammad Hafeez and Faisal Iqbal. The two Pakistani pacers – Umar Gul and Mohammad Asif struck a blow each early in the innings. However, the SA innings was brought back into a shape through the third wicket partnership between Graeme Smith and Jacques Kallis. Leg Spinner Danish Kaneria removed both these batsmen to have the visitors at 160 for 4. Smith made 46 while the inform Kallis was deceived by a googly after making 59. Once again South Africa could pull themselves back from a bad phase and this time it was through the partnership between Prince and AB de Villiers which was worth 83 runs. The breakthrough for Pakistan was given by left arm spinner Abdul Rehman who was underbowled by Shoaib Malik. Prince made a patient 63 from 132 balls.
The turning point of the day’s play came when AB de Villiers was run out in an unfortunate manner at the non striker’s end when he was backing up. AB de Villiers made 45 before getting dismissed in what became the final over of the day’s play. Pakistan will be looking to wind up the South African first innings as quickly as possible and then look upto its batsmen to pile up a huge first innings total.