Johannesburg: Leading wicket-taker Duanne Olivier said bounce and swing were key factors as bowlers again dominated on the second day of the third and final Test between South Africa and Pakistan at the Wanderers Stadium on Saturday.
Olivier claimed five for 51, his third five-wicket haul of the series, as South Africa gained a first innings lead of 77. But Pakistan’s bowlers hit back. South Africa were 135 for five in their second innings at the close, an overall lead of 212. “The match is still on,” said Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed, although he admitted that his team would need to produce their best batting performance of the series in order to chase down whatever target they are set. Players of both teams said after the first day that the pitch was better for batting than in the first two Tests – but 25 wickets have fallen in two days and the match appears to be hurtling towards another early conclusion. “The Pakistan batsmen batted quite well and quickly,” said Olivier. “If you get yourself in you will get rewarded with the bat but as a bowler, I feel there is always something, especially with the bounce at the Wanderers.” Olivier, who has taken 21 wickets in five innings said swing was a factor for the first time in the series.
“The previous two Tests there wasn’t much swing. There’s quite a bit of swing at the Wanderers. There’s still enough assistance for the bowlers and both teams have bowled well.” Olivier started the series as South Africa’s fifth-choice fast bowler but played in the first Test in Centurion because of injuries to Vernon Philander and Lungi Ngidi. He had match figures of 11 for 96, prompting South Africa to opt for a four-man pace attack when Philander returned for the second Test. Pakistan was right back in the game when medium-pacer Faheem Ashraf took two wickets in his first over to reduce South Africa to 45 for four. But Hashim Amla and Temba Bavuma blunted the bowlers in a fifth-wicket stand of 48 before Quinton de Kock joined Amla and lifted the scoring rate late in the day by scoring 34 not out off 35 balls.
Amla made a patient 42 not out off 90 balls against tight, disciplined bowling.
Sarfraz said his team had missed an opportunity with the bat to match or get close to South Africa’s first innings total of 262. They lost their last five wickets for 16 runs. Sarfraz and Babar Azam played some thrilling strokes in putting on 78 off 61 balls for the sixth wicket but both were out within the space of five balls, to be followed immediately by Ashraf, who was out the first ball to Olivier. “If you want to score here you have to play positively because a good ball is coming,” said Sarfraz, who scored 50 off 40 balls. But he blamed “three bad shots, me, Babar and Faheem” for the collapse. Sarfraz played one cut shot too many and was caught at first slip off Kagiso Rabada before Azam hooked Olivier to long leg. Ashraf got into a tangle trying to play a pull shot and spliced a simple catch to short leg. Sarfraz said the bowlers had also let their standards slip towards the end of the day when De Kock flourished. “We bowled really well but the last 45 minutes we were not up to the mark,” he said.
PCB regrets Durban incident
LAHORE: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has expressed regret over the remark made by Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed and picked up by the stump mic during the second ODI against South Africa in Durban.
The PCB neither endorses nor supports any comments that have the potential to cause offense, and firmly reiterates their zero-tolerance approach towards racist comments made; in whatever context, said a spokesman of the PCB here on Wednesday night. “This incident has also highlighted the importance and significance of player education and training at all levels. The PCB endeavors to improve their player education programmes to ensure these types of incidents do not happen again,” he said.
“Sarfaraz is one of the most respected cricketers in the world. However, captaining Pakistan is a massive honor and any hurtful remarks by any cricketer, let alone the captain, is not acceptable to the PCB,” he added. The spokesman said, “The PCB is confident that this incident will not affect the series, which has been played in great spirit with some excellent performances from both sides. The PCB is also hopeful that the crowds will continue to turn up in big numbers for the remaining matches to support cricket.”
PSL: Haier joins Peshawar Zalmi as Main Title Sponsor
LAHORE: Peshawar Zalmi and Haier Pakistan have signed a MoU for Main Title Sponsorship for Peshawar Zalmi for the 4th Edition of Pakistan Super League being played from February 14 in UAE and Pakistan.
Pakistan Super League’s most valued franchise in terms of Media and Brand, Peshawar Zalmi signed the MoU at an impressive ceremony. Chairman Peshawar Zalmi, Javed Afridi and Haier Pakistan Senior Director Li Da Peng signed the MoU here on Wednesday. Also present were Peshawar Zalmi players Kamran Akmal and Umaid Asif. Javed Afridi and Li Da Peng expressed their happiness on the signing and said that Partnership between Haier Pakistan and Peshawar Zalmi will strengthen in future and it will benefit Pakistan Cricket too along Peshawar Zalmi. Javed Afridi said that Haier Pakistan did a great part in past in promotion of Cricket in Pakistan and he is grateful for their tremendous support for Pakistan Sports and Peshawar Zalmi.
Li Da Peng highlighted the efforts of his organization for the uplift of cricket in Pakistan and expressed the hope that with the efforts of Peshawar Zalmi cricket will gain rapid promotion in China as well. “Besides being Pakistan’s number one brand in electronics, Haier is actively involved in sports-related activities and we are gaining rapid success in the field of electronics and sports,” he asserted. Javed Afridi said he has a multi-dimensional vision which focuses on generating more and more cricket activities from the platform of Peshawar Zalmi besides speeding up efforts to play due role in the fields of education and sports. “We are doing it for our country and to contribute in the national duty, we are not just focusing on cricket only we are lending support to hockey which is our national sports and needs immediate attention for its revival,” he said.
Javed Afridi called upon the need for introducing a transparent system in Pakistan Hockey Federation to ensure that funds being provided to them were being spent in the right direction purely on the development of the game. “We will soon reveal our ambitious plan to spend resources in the field of education and health as they are the two most neglected fields in the country and the future of our country heavily depends on improvement and progress of these fields “, he said. He said star-studded Peshawar Zalmi will perform to a higher level in the Pakistan Super League and its players will live up to the expectations by giving their best form and performance in the mega event. Kamran Akmal and Umaid Asif also spokesman on the occasion and reiterated their pledge to support Peshawar Zalmi by putting up their best in the PSL.
— سَــــــرپھِـــــری (@Sarphireee) January 23, 2019
Cricket: S. Lanka hoping for a miracle in Australia Test series
BRISBANE: Sri Lanka have closely studied the way India defeated Australia in their recent Test series, but captain Dinesh Chandimal said today his side will still need a miracle to do the same.
Speaking to reporters ahead of Thursday’s opening Test at the Gabba, Chandimal was cautious when asked about Sri Lanka’s chances. “It’s definitely a challenge for us, and if you can take this challenge – and as a batsman or as a bowler you give it your best shot and give 200 percent to the team – we can do a miracle here,” he said.
“That’s what we want to do as a team, and we’ll keep our fingers crossed.” Chandimal said he had kept a close eye on the “outstanding cricket” played by India in their first Test series win in Australia, which wrapped up earlier this month. “When India were bowling between 40 and 80 overs they didn’t give any runs away in that period. They kept it at under three an over. That’s the area where I think they won the series,” he said.
“If we want to win a game that is the area we’ll have to improve, and we’re aware of that.” The Sri Lankan skipper said he wasn’t perturbed by the notoriously fast and bouncy Gabba wicket. “When you look at the pitch you can see a lot of grass on the wicket,” he said. “We have got really good fast bowlers – Suranga (Lakmal), Lahiru Kumara, (Dushmantha) Chameera. Kumar can bowl over 140 (kilometres per hour) — so that’s a real plus,” he added.
Chandimal said he wanted to make history and become the first Sri Lankan captain to win a Test series in Australia, but wouldn’t take his opponents lightly. “We never underestimate the Australians,” he said.
“They have some really good players, but in their batting unit they are missing a lot of experienced players. So if we can get early wickets we can put them under pressure.”