Pakistan v SA

Dale: Collapse on the cards

2010-11-23 22:49
Eduan Roos

Abu Dhabi – The Proteas' last hope to win the decisive Test against Pakistan all depends on a batting slump by the ‘home’ side, says Dale Steyn.

The pace bowler insisted that the visitors can still win the race against time on a dead pitch – despite the fact that they will, at most, have 90 overs to take 10 Pakistan wickets.

Steyn managed four scalps in Pakistan’s first innings of 434, after which the South Africans closed Day 4 on a second innings total of 173/4.

Although South Africa’s second innings lead of 323 is, according to Steyn, "more than enough", an early declaration could still go badly wrong, with both sides having achieved run rates over four runs per over - a rate which would see Pakistan win under the circumstances.

"It is about time that the Pakistani batsmen collapse again, because up till now our bowlers have done everything possible to get wickets – without much success," said Steyn.

"With them, that's always possible and at some point our luck simply has to change."

"Perhaps there is very little assistance in this pitch, and it could be hard work when we bowl, but we are convinced that we have enough runs already for them to win and the only worry now is time."

According to Steyn, the innings of Misbah-ul-Haq and Younis Khan will be determining factors.

"Those two hold the key because if we can get them out quickly, it will produce panic in their cloakroom and then anything is possible."

He didn't want to reveal if the South Africans would declare their innings overnight.

"We will first discuss all the pros and cons but one thing is certain – we will fight to the bitter end and we want to win the Test."

Steyn warned that the Protea bowlers had also benefited from a rest of 49 overs while their batsmen tried to stretch the lead – even if they had earlier sweated it out in the searing desert heat for more than five hours to get the remaining four Pakistani wickets.

Ul-Haq and his team-mates could expect an even hotter welcome in their second innings.

"It was nice to rest a bit, even if it was only for a short while," said Steyn, who bowled 30 overs and took four wickets for 98 runs.

"There is definitely fight left in this competition and we will do everything in our power to put them under enormous pressure – whether with the ball or with the tongue."


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