Recent Match Report – Pakistan vs South Africa 2nd Test 2020/21


South Africa lost their last five for 37 runs, leaving Temba Bavuma stranded on 44 not out

Innings break South Africa 201 all out (Bavuma 44*, Hasan Ali 5-54) trail Pakistan 272 (Faheem 78*, Nortje 5-56) v by 71 runs

Hasan Ali claimed the second five-for of his Test career and cleaned up the South African tail to secure Pakistan a 71-run lead. Hasan made impressive use of reverse swing on a surface where the ball is keeping low.

South Africa lost their last five for 37 runs, leaving Temba Bavuma stranded on 44 not out.

Equally noteworthy was Pakistan’s sterling effort in the field. Sandwiched between Hasan’s wickets, was Abid Ali’s run-out of Kagiso Rabada, Pakistan’s second run-out of the Test and fourth in the series. Abid pulled off a one-handed pick-up and throw from point and his direct hit beat Rabada’s lazy running as Temba Bavuma pushed for a single.

It was a rare moment of urgency from Bavuma, who led South Africa’s resistance with characteristic stoicism, but ran out of partners as the defences of the rest of the line-up let them down, starting with Quinton de Kock.

The South African captain appeared in the same aggressive mood he employed on the second evening and was eager to drive away from his body against Shaheen Shah Afridi, but he played the shot one too many times. De Kock inside-edged the 10th ball he faced onto leg stump, having added only five runs to his overnight score. He has now scored 74 runs in five Test innings since being named temporary Test captain with his latest effort of 29 only adding to the conversation of whether the leadership burden is affecting his form.

In the next over, Bavuma was given out lbw to a Hasan delivery that jagged into the front pad but he reviewed the decision and was found to have inside-edged onto his pads. That only sent Bavuma further into his shell as he relied on his defence and patience and scored just five runs off the first 42 balls he faced, which included just two scoring shots.

The go-slow has pitfalls particularly that it can cause an innings to stagnate, but Bavuma had a more proactive partner in Mulder on the other end. Though the pair did not rotate strike much at first, Mulder found confidence against both pace and spin, underlined when he stepped down the track to loft Yasir Shah for six over long-off.

Pakistan hoped they’d seen the last of him when Mulder, on 25, was rapped on the front pad by Hasan and reviewed, even though a clear sound indicated an inside- edge. Replays confirmed Mulder had hit the ball. He went on to whip Hasan to fine leg later that over as his confidence grew. His partnership with Bavuma reached 50, South Africa’s highest of the match, and was set up to grow to much more but two overs later, Mulder played a shot in the same area and wanted two runs from it. He but took on Shaheen Shah’s arm and lost. The fast bowler fired in a strong throw right over the bail for Mohammed Rizwan to collect and catch Mulder short of his ground.

Pakistan should have another wicket in the same over when George Linde gloved a Hasan short ball but Rizwan was unconvinced. With the Mulder mistake fresh in his mind, Babar opted not to review much to Misbah-ul-Haq’s irritation. He was seen in the dressing room indicating that Pakistan would have a third wicket. Linde made the most of his let off and batted with freedom for a run-a-ball 21 before he was bowled by a Hasan slower ball.

In the over before lunch, Yasir Shah put down a difficult chance off Keshav Maharaj at third slip and then Maharaj was given out lbw to Hasan but reviewed and replays showed the ball was missing leg stump. He didn’t last long after the break and was bowled two overs after lunch by a full Hasan ball that swung in late and took out middle stump. Bavuma scored the only other runs after that, as Rabada was run out for a duck and Anrich Nortje bowled shouldering arms to Hasan off the first ball he faced.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo’s South Africa correspondent

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