20°C / 22°C
  • Mon
  • 21°C
  • 9°C
  • Tue
  • 21°C
  • 10°C
  • Wed
  • 20°C
  • 10°C
  • Thu
  • 19°C
  • 8°C
  • Fri
  • 18°C
  • 6°C
  • Mon
  • 19°C
  • 14°C
  • Tue
  • 15°C
  • 10°C
  • Wed
  • 14°C
  • 9°C
  • Thu
  • 15°C
  • 11°C
  • Fri
  • 18°C
  • 9°C
  • Mon
  • 23°C
  • 10°C
  • Tue
  • 24°C
  • 11°C
  • Wed
  • 23°C
  • 10°C
  • Thu
  • 22°C
  • 8°C
  • Fri
  • 20°C
  • 8°C
  • Mon
  • 22°C
  • 7°C
  • Tue
  • 22°C
  • 6°C
  • Wed
  • 23°C
  • 7°C
  • Thu
  • 22°C
  • 5°C
  • Fri
  • 20°C
  • 3°C
  • Mon
  • 25°C
  • 16°C
  • Tue
  • 23°C
  • 16°C
  • Wed
  • 19°C
  • 15°C
  • Thu
  • 21°C
  • 13°C
  • Fri
  • 20°C
  • 12°C
  • Mon
  • 21°C
  • 14°C
  • Tue
  • 16°C
  • 9°C
  • Wed
  • 14°C
  • 8°C
  • Thu
  • 15°C
  • 10°C
  • Fri
  • 18°C
  • 10°C
  • Mon
  • 17°C
  • 10°C
  • Tue
  • 13°C
  • 5°C
  • Wed
  • 15°C
  • 4°C
  • Thu
  • 15°C
  • 5°C
  • Fri
  • 19°C
  • 6°C
  • Mon
  • 18°C
  • 12°C
  • Tue
  • 14°C
  • 8°C
  • Wed
  • 14°C
  • 6°C
  • Thu
  • 14°C
  • 8°C
  • Fri
  • 18°C
  • 7°C
  • Mon
  • 24°C
  • 9°C
  • Tue
  • 25°C
  • 9°C
  • Wed
  • 25°C
  • 9°C
  • Thu
  • 24°C
  • 7°C
  • Fri
  • 22°C
  • 6°C
  • Mon
  • 23°C
  • 3°C
  • Tue
  • 22°C
  • 5°C
  • Wed
  • 23°C
  • 4°C
  • Thu
  • 15°C
  • 1°C
  • Fri
  • 18°C
  • 0°C
  • Mon
  • 27°C
  • 8°C
  • Tue
  • 32°C
  • 8°C
  • Wed
  • 19°C
  • 9°C
  • Thu
  • 29°C
  • 8°C
  • Fri
  • 20°C
  • 7°C
  • Mon
  • 19°C
  • 13°C
  • Tue
  • 15°C
  • 7°C
  • Wed
  • 12°C
  • 6°C
  • Thu
  • 14°C
  • 9°C
  • Fri
  • 17°C
  • 8°C

Proteas quicks have Pakistan on the ropes early

Dale Steyn, the returning Vernon Philander, man-of-the-moment Duanne Olivier and Kagiso Rabada all claimed wickets in a relentless hailstorm of swinging, bouncing deliveries at Newlands Stadium today.

Proteas fast bowler (centre) Duanne Olivier celebrates the fall of a Pakistani wicket with his teammates during day one of the second Test at Newlands on 3 January 2019. Picture: AFP

CAPE TOWN - Wasting no time in continuing where they left off in the Boxing Day Test, South Africa’s feared bowling attack, predictably have Pakistan on the ropes at lunch.

Dale Steyn, the returning Vernon Philander, man-of-the-moment Duanne Olivier and Kagiso Rabada all claimed wickets in a relentless hailstorm of swinging, bouncing deliveries at Newlands Stadium today.

Fakhar Zaman was first to fall with Pakistan on 9. Dale Steyn, the remover, with a steep bouncer that rendered Zaman defenceless as he skied it to Temba Bavuma in the gully.

In the 8th over, Philander, back from injury, trapped Imam ul-Haq LBW for 8 to bring up the local hero’s 50th Test wicket at Newlands. At 13/2 Pakistan were in for a rude awakening.

Kagiso Rabada then chipped in by dismissing Asad Shafiq for 20 runs, with a regulation catch at third slip by Dean Elgar.

Olivier continued to torment the Pakistanis with a brace, including the crucial wicket of Babar Azam for 2. Pakistan went into the lunch break reeling on 75/5.

South Africa’s quick bowlers dominated proceedings from early on, extracting good lateral and vertical movement on a lively Newlands pitch. Expectations were high when Steyn and Philander opened the bowling.

Both immediately beat the bat with consistency, typified by two consecutive LBW appeals from Philander against Imam ul-Haq in the fourth over.

Pakistan struggled to cope with the bounce and movement offered by South Africa’s all-out pace set up. Azhar Ali fell cheaply to Olivier.

Shan Masood and Asad Shafiq offered some resistance before the latter fell to Rabada with the score on 51.

A year is a long time in cricket, and yet the prospect of history repeating itself in the Mother City seems palpable. A year ago, against India, Philander showed why he is so lethal on his home turf. It was early January, in the throes of Cape Town’s summer and the drought was at its peak. No such natural disasters for Philander, or the Proteas. After setting India a target of 208 for victory, South Africa, courtesy of Philander, reached for the jugular of the Indian batting and bowled them out for 135. Big Vern was the chief destroyer and architect of India’s demise in that Test. He did it again against Australia.

Philander’s return has perhaps been shrouded by the ticker tape of Dale Steyn's history-making comeback from injury, but Philander, on his home soil, could prove series-defining if he gets it right at Newlands – which he does often.

Before this Test, Philander had taken 49 wickets in nine Test matches here at an average of 17 runs per wicket, and a wicket every 35 balls. He is the unlikely spearhead of the Proteas attack against Pakistan’s apprehensive batting line up. The Proteas have the Pakistani batsmen exactly where they want them after a resounding victory a week ago - their batsmen look unsettled, and so does their coach Mickey Arthur, and their captain Sarfraz Ahmed appears to have an axe over his head.

The Proteas will look to assert that advantage and snuff out any chance of a Pakistan fightback after lunch in front of a good Newlands crowd.

Follow @EWNSport for regular updates.