PAKISTAN TOUR OF SOUTH AFRICA, 2018-19
Cricbuzz Staff •
Markram stroked unbeaten 78 in the opening session. © AFP
Aiden Markram (78*) and Dean Elgar (22*) strung together an unbeaten stand of 102 for the second wicket to drive South Africa to a position of strength at the end of the first session of the Wanderers Test versus Pakistan. The hosts were 108 for 1 at the break.
After the home team elected to bat, Mohammad Abbas struck early by dislodging the stand in captain Dean Elgar. In his very first over of the day, he bowled one in the corridor of off stump and extracted seam movement to produce the edge. However, after the early jolt, Amla and Markram joined forces to put the hosts back on track.
On a wicket that is on the slower side, Makram showcased his penchant for driving by cracking a slew of shots. In the 11th over, he essayed the punch and pull off Hasan Ali to collect three fours. He soon reached his fifty with a trademark cover drive off Faheem Ashraf.
The highlight of Markram’s eye-catching exhibition of strokeplay was when he caressed an immaculate drive in the 23rd over that scurried away to the fence. Even after the home side went past the 100-run mark, Markram continued to put on an exhibition, capsulised by the flowing straight drive off Abbas. Amla, who has been struggling for form in recent times, also looked in good touch.
After picking up the early wicket, Pakistan’s pacers mostly struggled for discipline. The touring side also would rue the fact that Shan Masood dropped a tough chance at forward short leg to give Markram a reprieve. Mohammad Amir was the unlucky bowler.
Earlier, South Africa, on expected lines, brought in Zubayr Hamza with Pakistan making three changes which included the brave call to drop their premier spinner Yasir Shah.
Brief scores: South Africa 108/1 (Aiden Makram 78*; Mohammad Abbas 1-25) versus Pakistan