Another entertaining victory for South Africa – 2nd Test vs. Pakistan

South Africa 326 and 6-182 (Hashim Amla 58, AB de Villiers 36, Saeed Ajmal 4-51) beat Pakistan 338 and 169 (Azhar Ali 65, Misbah-ul-Haq 44, Vernon Philander 4-40) by four wickets.

South Africa maintained their supremacy in Test cricket while beating Pakistan in an absorbing encounter on the fourth day of the second match at Cape Town.

Pakistan hammered 338 runs in the first innings but their unpredictable batting line up put them down in the second when they were bowled out for 169 runs. The Proteas managed 326 runs in the first innings and chased the target of 182 runs successfully for the loss of six wickets.

Robin Peterson - A fine all-round performance in the match
Robin Peterson – A fine all-round performance in the match

Robin Peterson (South Africa) was declared ‘Player of the match’ for his all round performance. He smashed a match saving innings of 84 in the first innings and held five wickets in the game as well.

The second Test of the three match series concluded on February 17, 2013, at Newlands, Cape Town.

Earlier, Pakistan started the day on a positive note at 3-100 in 44 overs, whereas Azhar Ali and skipper Misbah-ul-Haq were at the crease on 45 and 36 accordingly.  The pair managed just one run in the first three overs as the latter hit the first four of the day in the next over. Azhar Ali attained his 14th Test fifty on the second ball of the 52nd over when it was required badly by the team. Misbah-ul-Haq fell in the trap of the Proteas captain, Graeme Smith, when he caught the batsman at short fine leg off Robin Peterson for 44. The wicket fell at 114 as the centurion of the first innings, Asad Shafiq, got together with Azhar Ali.

Asad got off with 10 runs in the 55th over comprising a couple of fours as his partner kept on crawling from the other end. The score was taken to 147 when Asad Shafiq was unable to react on a ball from Vernon Philander that hit his stumps after playing it. He was gone for 19 when the South African bowlers took over and never looked back as three wickets fell on even balls. Robin Peterson removed Sarfraz Ahmed for five runs on the last delivery of the 65th over and Philander sent back Azhar Ali and Umar Gul on the consecutive deliveries of the next over. Azhar Ali was the top scorer for 65 off 193 with 7 fours as the entire innings of the visitors was folded back at 169 in 75.3 overs.

Vernon Philander was the highest wicket taker with four whereas Dale Steyn and Robin Peterson shared three wickets each.

South Africa required 182 to win the match that looked an easy target while keeping in view their strong batting line up. Pakistan got an early wicket when Alviro Petersen was declared leg before wicket off Umar Gul for just one run. The world No.1 batsman, Hashim Amla got together with Graeme Smith and they begun the consolidation process while keeping the score board moving. Amla was playing his shots without fear and added 2 fours in the 15th over and the duo enhanced the score to 63 when Graeme Smith was held lbw off Saeed Ajmal for 29.

Another competent batsman, Jacques Kallis, associated with Hashim Amla as the first got 2 fours in the 19th over. The third wicket contributed 25 runs as Jacques Kallis became the next victim of Saeed Ajmal for 21 and AB de Villiers replaced him. The hundred of the innings was displayed on screen in the 25th over as de Villiers hit two back to back fours in the 31st over. Hashim Amla completed his 26th Test half century in the 34th over but was clean bowled by Saeed Ajmal for 58 off 96 balls with 7 fours two overs later.

Faf du Plessis was the next batsman in and took off briskly by scoring 10 runs in the next over with 2 fours as AB de Villiers went back to the pavilion for 36. Saeed Ajmal got another wicket of Faf du Plessis who scored 15 runs as Dean Elgar hit the winning run on the first ball of the 44th over. The hosts smashed 182 runs with four wickets in hand quite comfortably in the end.

Saeed Ajmal became the main threat for the home team and secured four wickets whereas Umar Gul and Tanvir Ahmed claimed one wicket each.

South Africa won the match by four wickets with one day to spare and leads the three match series 2-0. The third and final Test of the series will commence from February 22, 2013, at SuperSport Park, Centurion.


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