Pak vs SA: Junaid, Gul successive overs bags 3 wickets

-File photo

JOHANNESBURG: The first test match between South Africa and Pakistan began at Johannesburg, South Africa won the toss and elected to bat.

Pakistan opening bowlers Junaid Khan and Umar Gul struck in successive overs to negate a solid start by South Africa on the first day of the first Test against Pakistan at the Wanderers Stadium.

South Africa were 135-3 for two after Graeme Smith, captaining a team for the 100th time in Test matches, won the toss and decided to bat in what were always likely to be challenging conditions on a pitch with pace and bounce.

Smith and Alviro Petersen saw off the initial bursts by Junaid and Gul but a switch of ends for both bowlers brought the wickets of both opening batsman.

The left-armed Junaid had an impressive opening spell during which he conceded only four runs in six overs. He was rested for just 20 minutes before being brought back to replace new cap Rahat Ali, who struggled to find consistency.

Junaid squared up Petersen and had him caught at third slip for 20 with the total on 46. Four balls later, without addition to the score, Smith was caught behind for 24 when he tried to work Gul to the leg side.

Junaid and Gul did most of the bowling for the Pakistanis, sending down ten each on a morning when only 25 overs were bowled. Junaid took one for 16 and Gul one for 28.

Today Pakistani team has handed debuts to the 23-year-old opener Nasir Jamshed on the back of an impressive performances in India, as well as to left-arm quick Rahat Ali.

The 24-year-old Ali, who has played on ODI, was added to the squad as cover due to the conditions and duration of the tour and found himself making his debut ahead of the 7ft-1n fast bowler Mohammad Irfan.

The Proteas have three fast bowlers in the game at their disposal in the shape of Dale Steyn, Vernon Philander and Morné Morkel.


Pakistan: 1 Mohammad Hafeez, 2 Nasir Jamshed, 3 Azhar Ali, 4 Younis Khan, 5 Misbah-ul-Haq (capt), 6 Asad Shafiq, 7 Sarfraz Ahmed (wk), 8 Umar Gul, 9 Saeed Ajmal, 10 Junaid Khan, 11 Rahat Ali

South Africa:1 Graeme Smith (capt), 2 Alviro Petersen, 3 Hashim Amla, 4 Jacques Kallis, 5 AB de Villiers (wk), 6 Faf du Plessis, 7 Dean Elgar, 8 Vernon Philander, 9 Robin Peterson, 10 Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel