Ajmal masterclass stuns SA

Cape Town, Feb 15: An exceptional display of Off spin bowling by the wizard Saeed Ajmal saw South Africa  being reduced to  139 for the loss of five wickets. Ajmal claimed all the five scalps as the mighty south African top order was unable to read the crafty spinner.
 In the last session of the day , Ajmal cliamed for  Amla, Kallis and Du plessis propelling Pakistan to an advantage at the end of the play  on day 2.
 The Cape Town pitch was expected to make Saeed Ajmal a central figure towards the end of the Test but he made an impact as early as the second day, first with the bat in a combative 64-run ninth-wicket stand and then, far more damagingly, with a mesmerising display of spin bowling that left South Africa stuttering for the first time in their home summer.
 Though this was not a tailor-made turner for Ajmal, and it had been widely predicted to be a great day for batting, he got the ball to rear up and to fizz off the track in an unbroken 25-over spell that could well end up as his greatest performance. The mighty South African batting was nonplussed, and an hour before stumps there was even the outside chance of them being forced to follow-on.
  Earlier Off-spinner Saeed Ajmal dismissed both opening batsmen as South Africa.
 South Africa were 65 for two at tea after dismissing Pakistan for 338.
 It was a productive day for Ajmal, who helped fellow tailender Tanvir Ahmed put on 64 for the ninth wicket to take Pakistan comfortably past the 300 mark.
 Their eventual total had seemed unlikely when Vernon Philander took three wickets in his first three overs to reduce the tourists to 268 for eight.
 Ajmal came on to bowl after 11 overs had been bowled in South Africa's innings.
 He struck with his ninth delivery when South African captain Graeme Smith missed a sweep.
 Umpire Steve Davis turned down Ajmal's appeal for leg before wicket but the Pakistanis sought a review which showed the ball had pitched in line and would have hit the stumps.
 Two overs later Ajmal had Alviro Petersen smartly caught at short leg by Azhar Ali, who dived to his right to hold a sharp chance. At tea, Ajmal had taken two for 20.
 Faf du Plessis surprisingly batted at number four for South Africa in place of Jacques Kallis.
 Pakistan batted until lunch after resuming on 253 for five, although Philander's early strikes raised the home side's hopes of wrapping up the innings quickly.
 Philander, who took five for 59, struck with his first ball of the day when Asad Shafiq was caught at first slip without adding to his overnight score of 111. Shafiq batted for 308 minutes and faced 230 balls.
 Sarfraz Ahmed, the other overnight batsman, fell in Philander's next over when Petersen dived full length to his right to hold a good catch at third slip. Sarfraz made 13.
 Umar Gul was leg before wicket without scoring as Philander completed his ninth five-wicket haul in Test matches.
 But Tanvir and Ajmal went for their strokes, with Tanvir in particular hitting out aggressively as he made 44 off 59 balls with four fours. Ajmal made 21 not out.
 South Africa suffered a blow when fast bowler Morne Morkel left the field after bowling three balls of his 21st over with what was described as a tight left hamstring.
 Tanvir fell shortly before lunch when he hit left-arm spinner Robin Peterson to Philander at deep mid-off, with last man Mohammad Irfan following in the next over when he was bowled by Peterson, going for a big hit. AFP

Lastupdate on : Fri, 15 Feb 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 15 Feb 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 16 Feb 2013 00:00:00 IST




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