Kaneria, Shoaib wreck South Africa
South Africa set a paltry target of 161 runs for Pakistan to win the first Test after a five-wicket haul by Danish Kaneria wrapped up the tourists for 241.Updated: Oct 20, 2003 19:10 IST
Danish Kaneria and Shoaib Akhtar rattled South Africa with spin and pace Monday, bringing Pakistan close to a big victory on the fourth day of the first cricket Test.
Speedster Akhtar (4-36) polished off the top order, while Kaneria (5-46) mopped up the tail to dimiss the Proteas for 241 in the second innings and set up a victory target of 161 runs.
Imran Farhat and Taufeeq Umer put on a run-a-minute 134 for the first wicket against a four-pronged Proteas pace attack - led by Shaun Pollock and Makhaya Ntini. Farhat hit nine fours in his 58 before he gifted his wicket to the gentle off-spin of captain Graeme Smith under fading light.
When play was finally called off 4.4 overs due to poor light, Pakistan was 137 for one - just 24 more away from its first-ever victory at home against the Proteas. Umer was batting on 61 with nine fours while Yasir Hameed was not out on 3.
The left-handed opening pair got the distinction of scoring a century partnership in each innings of a Test match for the first time in Pakistan's 296 Test matches since gaining Test status in 1952. They were involved in a 109-run first wicket partnership in Pakistan's first innings total of 401 in reply to South Africa's 320. It was also only the ninth time in Test history that the opening pair had shared a century partnership in each innings of a Test match.
Both players hit identical eight boundaries in their half centuries as the Proteas pace attack couldn't find any assistance off a slow track.
Two earlier disputed decisions by umpire Darrell Hair badly hurt South Africa, and its key batsmen, Herschelle Gibbs (59) and Jacques Kallis (18), fell victims to the Australian umpire. Akhtar, nicknamed Rawalpindi Express, bowled with venom after South Africa resumed at the overnight 99 for one and conceded just three runs in four overs for the wickets of Boeta Dippenaar and Gibbs.
The ball flew off Gibbs' shoulder to Taufeeq Umer in the slips and Hair raised his finger while Kallis's bat was nowhere near the ball when he attempted to pull but was adjudged caught behind off another Akhtar express delivery.
Dippenaar (27) survived a confident lbw appeal off Akhtar but miscued a pull shot and gave an easy catch to stand-in captain Yousuf Youhana at mid-on.
South Africa were just 56 runs ahead when Umer failed to hold on to Kallis's hard cut when he was on 14 before Akhtar returned for his second spell and removed him as South Africa slumped to 171 for five by lunch. Akhtar limped off the field after he pulled his hamstring midway into his seventh over of the morning. Gary Kirsten, who had 10 stitches after Akhtar struck him just below the left eye in the first innings, top-scored with 46 and added 43 runs with Mark Boucher (15) for the sixrth wicket.
Boucher gave a regulation bat and pad catch to Farhat at forward short-leg before Kirsten added 45 with Shaun Pollock. But Proteas' experienced left-hander Kirsten played a reckless stroke and holed out at long on to Youhana off Kaneria as South Africa lost its last four wickets for just four runs in the space of 13 deliveries. Kaneria picked three of them while leg-spinner Mushtaq Ahmad at last took his first wicket of the match by clean bowling Andre Nel.
First Published: Oct 20, 2003 13:42 IST