Mohammad Amir revealed that a tactical rethink during the tea break led to Pakistan’s remarkable turnaround on day one of the final Test with South Africa.
The hosts, seeking a 3-0 whitewash, looked to be in control at the Wanderers after reaching 226-3 but the final session put an entirely different spin on things.
Pakistan clicked into gear to bowl out their opponents for 262 and, although the Proteas hit back with two wickets of their own, the tourists’ fighting spirit pleased Amir.
“The first two sessions we didn’t bowl well,” said Amir, who took 2-36. “After that we made a plan to bowl wicket to wicket and control the run rate.”This wicket is far better [for batting] than the first two games but I always believe that when you stick to the basics, whether you are a bowler or a batsman, you can get the reward.”
Aiden Markram anchored South Africa’s innings with a well-constructed 90, having compiled 78 off 101 balls by lunch in a session that he thoroughly enjoyed. “It was the best I’ve moved in a session,” he said. “It’s important to respect the good balls but when there is a ball in your zone you need to be in a frame of mind to put it away.
“Our total is a bit under par but it did seem to be a bit more difficult to bat on later on.”Pakistan also confirmed on Friday that leg-spinner Yasir Shah had been sent to a Johannesburg hospital for a scan on his injured knee.