Nortje takes five-for to restrict Pakistan, but host fights back

South Africa has passed 300 just three times in its last 25 innings on the sub-continent and has been prone to spectacular collapses, as it seeks to level the two-match series after a seven-wicket defeat in the first Test in Karachi.

File Picture: Anrich Nortje took five wickets as Pakistan was dismissed for 272 on day two of the second Test.   -  GETTY IMAGES

Anrich Nortje took five wickets as Pakistan was dismissed for 272 but South Africa’s struggles with the bat in the sub-continent continued as it limped to 106 for four at the close on the second day of the second Test in Rawalpindi on Friday.

Captain Quinton de Kock (24 not out from 11 balls) and Temba Bavuma (15 not out) survived in the gloom at the close, but the tourist still trails by 166 runs and will be looking for a counter-punch on day three.

South Africa has passed 300 just three times in its last 25 innings on the sub-continent and has been prone to spectacular collapses, as it seeks to level the two-match series after a seven-wicket defeat in the first Test in Karachi.

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Casting a spell

Nortje (5-56) was superb with the ball, his aggression and accuracy leading to a third five-wicket haul in Tests to restrict Pakistan to a manageable first innings score.

South Africa’s openers Dean Elgar (15) and Aiden Markram were positive at the start of the innings, but disaster struck as it lost two wickets in the final two balls of the middle session.

Elgar was caught by wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan off the bowling of Hasan Ali (2-29), and the very next delivery Rassie van der Dussen was deceived by a ball that kept low and clattered into his stumps.

Faf du Plessis (17) looked in control until he inexplicably tried to cut a wide Faheem Ashraf delivery and edged to Rizwan.

The visitor was dealt a further blow when left-arm spinner Nauman Ali deceived Markram (32), and the latter chipped a simple catch to Shaheen Shah at mid-wicket.

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Quick strikes

Pakistan had resumed its innings on 145 for three but lost its two set batsmen from the day before in quick succession.

Captain Babar Azam (77) edged the second delivery of the morning from Nortje to Du Plessis at second slip, before the centurion from the first Test, Fawad Alam (45) was run out by a direct hit from Bavuma.

Babar and Fawad had put on 127 for the fourth wicket to rescue the home side from a precarious 22 for three on the first morning.

Faheem Ashraf picked up the momentum with a superb unbeaten 78 but ran out of partners as Nortje chipped away at the wickets column to leave the home side all out just before tea.

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