South Africa edges opening day thanks to Olivier as Steyn makes history

Dale Steyn became South Africa's all-time leading wicket-taker but it was Duanne Olivier who starred for the host at Centurion.

Published : Dec 26, 2018 22:46 IST

South Africa celebrate against Pakistan
South Africa celebrate against Pakistan

South Africa celebrate against Pakistan

Dale Steyn and Duanne Olivier enjoyed memorable days with the ball at Centurion but South Africa did not have it all its own way at the start of the first Test against Pakistan.

Olivier's career-best figures of 6-37 came after Steyn had become South Africa's all-time leading wicket-taker, the 35-year-old finally moving past Shaun Pollock's haul of 421 Test scalps.

Steyn's milestone was followed by a fine display from Olivier, Pakistan's batsmen unable to cope with his ability to move the ball as they were dismissed for 181 in 47 overs.

READ| Steyn has best strike-rate among bowlers with more than 400 Test wickets

South Africa found life no easier in its reply, though, as the tourist claimed five wickets before the close to leave the opening match of the three-game series nicely poised, the Proteas on 127-5 at stumps.

Pakistan's decision to bat first backfired dramatically as it struggled, Imam-ul-Haq (0) the first to go in only the second over as Kagiso Rabada trapped him lbw – a review unable to save the opener.

Steyn took the new ball with Rabada and his landmark moment came in only his fourth over of the day, the paceman getting his 422nd Test wicket as Dean Elgar clung on at slip to remove Fakhar Zaman.

Olivier wreaks havoc

That moved Steyn past Pollock on the list, though he was unable to add further to his career tally as Olivier took centre stage.

His first two wickets came before lunch as Shan Masood (19) played on and Asad Shafiq (7) was given lbw to a ball that straightened, the batsman wasting Pakistan's remaining review while attempting to stem South Africa's charge.

READ|  Steyn becomes South Africa's leading Test wicket taker

Pakistan started the second session 76-4 but was soon 111-8 as Olivier's impressive display continued. He removed Azhar Ali (36) – aided by a superb catch by Theunis de Bruyn at third slip – and Sarfraz Ahmed (0) in the same over before accounting for Mohammad Amir (1) to complete a five-wicket haul. 

He went on to grab a sixth to finish off Pakistan, Shaheen Afridi (0) caught behind after Rabada (3-59) had dismissed Yasir Shah (4) and the resolute Babar Azam, who fought hard to make 71 off 79 balls, his resolute knock including 15 boundaries. 

South Africa was able to reduce the deficit to 54 before stumps but it came at a cost. It at one stage slumped to 43-4, Afridi (2-36) taking two in two balls in the 15th over. 

Aiden Markram (12) and Hashim Amla (8) were early departures before Afridi snared Elgar (22) and Faf du Plessis (0) in successive deliveries. 

An unbeaten 38 from Temba Bavuma pushed South Africa close to parity before the end of play, the right-hander supported by De Bruyn (29) before the arrival of nightwatchman Steyn (13 not out). 

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