Faf, Proteas bat Pakistan out of Newlands Test

2019-01-04 18:00
Faf du Plessis
Faf du Plessis (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Faf du Plessis scored his 9th Test century at Newlands on Friday as the Proteas took complete control of the 2nd Test against Pakistan at Newlands. 

At stumps on day two, South Africa were 382/6 with a first innings lead of 205

Quinton de Kock (55*) and Vernon Philander (6*) are the two batsmen at the crease. 

When Hashim Amla (24) and Theunis de Bruyn (13) fell in the opening hour of play, there were few who would have predicted the hosts batting out the day given the struggles both sides have had against seam in the series so far. 

Those two quick strikes got Pakistani tails up, but they also brought Du Plessis and Temba Bavuma together. 

Du Plessis had endured a horrible 2018 that saw him score just 463 runs at an average of 24.36 in 20 knocks. 

The Proteas' impressive results on the Test stage meant the Du Plessis 'the captain' was never under any pressure, but he would have known better than anyone that he needed to contribute more with the bat. 

The stars aligned on Friday. 

Du Plessis was a pillar of strength throughout his 226-ball stay at the crease. 

His defence, which has been the hallmark of his Test career, was rock solid once more while he was quick to punish anything loose. 

Du Plessis and Bavuma shared a potentially match-winning stand of 156 for the fifth wicket as  Bavuma took another significant step towards solidifying his position as a senior member of the Proteas top order with a patient, well-crafted knock of 75

He was given out twice, surviving both a catch in the slips that didn't carry and an LBW after the third umpire intervened. 

65* after the LBW was overturned, Bavuma would have desperately wanted to cash in and reach just his 2nd Test ton. 

Instead, he was out caught behind off Shaheen Afridi (3/112) just 25 runs short. 

By then, though, Pakistan heads had dropped and with every run accumulated, the inevitability of a series win for the hosts grew stronger. 

As is often the case, Quinton de Kock (55*) wasted no time getting going and, as a result, the scoreboard moved along quickly after his arrival at the crease. 

Du Plessis, dropped on 97 by Sarfraz down the leg side off Mohammad Abbas, brought up his first ever ton at Newlands when he pushed Mohammad Amir through the covers for three. 

It was the perfect response following the skipper's disappointing 2018 and his pair of ducks at Centurion in the first Test, and his reaction showed exactly how much it meant to him. 

The skipper could not carry his bat through to the end of the day, though, and he was out caught behind to become Afridi's third victim of the day when he was on 103

It was a faint edge that umpire Joel Wilson had not detected, but Sarfraz was quick to use a review that saw Du Plessis back to the hut to a standing ovation from another sizeable and vocal Newlands crowd that celebrated the captain's first Test ton since his 135* against Bangladesh in Bloemfontein in October 2017. 

Flying under the radar as the shadows grew long and Cape Town celebrated Du Plessis, De Kock brought up his half-century in just 59 balls. 

Earlier, Amla was the first of the 4 wickets to fall in the day when he was bowled by a near-unplayable delivery from Abbas that jagged off the seam and clattered into his leg stump. 

De Bruyn, meanwhile, continues to struggle on the Test stage and he gave his wicket away with an unnecessary waft at a wide one from Afridi that was sharply taken by Babar Azam at gully. 

Scores in brief:

Pakistan 177 (Sarfraz 56, Masood 44, Olivier 4/48, Steyn 4/48)

South Africa 382/6 (Du Plessis 103, Markram 78, Bavuma 75, De Kock 55*, Shaheen Afridi 3/112)

South Africa lead by 205 runs with 4 first innings wickets remaining.

Read more on:    proteas  |  faf du plessis  |  cape town  |  cricket


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