South Africa were unable to deliver the performance Graeme Smith would have wanted on the occasion of his 100th Test as captain as the home side were bundled out for just 253 after the winning the toss and batting first in the Sunfoil Test match at the Bidvest Wanderers Stadium on Friday.
All seven of the Proteas’ specialist batsmen made a start but all were dismissed between 20 and 50 and six wickets fell in the final session as the innings subsided from a promising 199-4 to 254 all out with off spinner Mohammed Hafeez claiming career best figures of 4-16 in just 7.2 overs.
Pakistan’s openers safely negotiated the final two overs of the day to reach six without loss with Hafeez having scored all of them in the company of Nasir Jamshed.
Smith admitted at the start that batting “could be difficult” in the morning session but settled after a jittery start to add 46 for the first wicket before partner Alviro Petersen (20) was caught at third slip off the impressive left-arm seamer, Junaid Khan.
The captain then edged Umar Gul to ‘keeper Sarfraz Ahmed for 24 but Hashim Amla and Jacques Kallis looked untroubled in reaching lunch at 68-2.
Kallis reached an aggressive 50 from just 74 balls with nine boundaries but top-edged a hook four balls later and perished to a brilliant diving catch by Asad Shafiq. Amla departed in galling fashion with a flashing edge to gully against rank part-timer Younis Khan for 37 when equally well set.
AB de Villiers (31) and Faf du Plessis (41) steadied the innings with a resolute fifth wicket stand of 64 before the former edged Hafeez’s first delivery to the keeper and Du Plessis watched helplessly as a perfect forward defensive stroke against Junaid ended with the ball spinning backwards on to his stumps.
Robin Peterson (0) was bowled by Hafeez without offering a shot and Dean Elgar nudged another innocuous Hafeez delivery into the ‘keepers gloves down the leg side before Vernon Philander was involved in an embarrassing mix-up with Dale Steyn to be run out.’
The home side have much work to do on a largely good batting surface on the second day with most Wanderers experts suggesting their total was at least 100 runs short of a par score.