Jonathan Raymond | October 25, 2013
It’s hard to really grasp now, after the barrage of runs that Graeme Smith and AB de Villiers rained down on Pakistan yesterday, but at the beginning of the second day of the Test, it at least didn’t seem out of the question that the Pakistani bowling attack could get through the innings quickly and cheaply and keep the match competitive.
After all, Mohammad Irfan, Saeed Ajmal, Zufliqar Babar and Junaid Khan had dismissed the vaunted South Africa batting order for 249 and 232 in the first Test, with Hashim Amla’s first-innings 118 the only real eyesore against them.
And when Irfan dismissed Dale Steyn, South Africa stood only at 134 for 4, a manageable – even hopeful – total for the Pakistani side.
But then AB de Villiers stepped into the crease to join the unrelenting Graeme Smith, and it wasn’t until stumps that either would step out.
“I think our innings was still in the balance when we lost Dale this morning, so to get AB at that stage and the way that he played and transferred pressure made my life a lot easier, and it was a terrific knock from him. I think at that point to say that we would be this far ahead at end of play, I would certainly have taken that,” he said after all was good and final yesterday.
Smith scored 227 individually, de Villiers 157, and together they partnered for 326 runs – with a chance to add who knows how many more this morning. One thing it’s allowed the South Africa side, at this point, is to let them be a little ambitious.
“Ideally, we’d like to bat once in this game that would be goal number 1,” Smith said.
Before the start of Day 3, take a listen to all of what the Proteas captain had to say following his double hundred in Dubai.