Pakistan batting failed once again as South Africa took control on the first day of the second Test at Newlands. Duanne Olivier led the fast bowling assault with four for 48 as Pakistan were bundled out for 177 after being sent in to bat first.
Opener Aiden Markram struck 78 as South Africa reached 123 for two at the close.
Captain Sarfraz Ahmed hit 56 and Shan Masood made 44 to lift an otherwise poor Pakistan batting performance.
South Africa’s decision to pick an all-pace attack paid dividends with all four fast bowlers picking up wickets.
Unlike Centurion, the pitch itself was not a major factor in Pakistan’s collapse. It was hard and there was some green grass on the surface but the bounce was largely true and there was no exaggerated sideways movement.
The only ball that misbehaved markedly was the last of the day when part-time seamer Shan Masood bowled Markram with a ball which nipped back and kept low.
Azhar Ali, Pakistan’s most experienced batsman, fell to a short ball from Olivier for the third time in a row, fending tamely to first slip. Five of his teammates also were dismissed by short deliveries.
Pakistan’s batting was put into perspective when Markram and Dean Elgar put on 56 for the first wicket at almost five runs an over.
Mohammad Amir put a brake on the scoring by having Elgar caught behind during a second spell in which he conceded only eight runs in five overs but Markram and Hashim Amla steadily built a second wicket stand of 67 off 109 balls.
Sarfraz provided the brightest interlude for Pakistan after coming in with his team in danger of a total collapse at 54 for five. Sarfraz put on 60 for the sixth wicket with Shan Masood (44) and 42 for the seventh wicket with Mohammad Amir (22 not out).