Steyn takes 11 in crushing victory in 1st Test at Johannesburg
South Africa 253 (Kallis 50, Hafeez 4-16) and 275 for 3 dec (de Villiers 103*, Amla 75*, Smith 52) beat Pakistan 49 (Steyn 6-8) and 268 (Misbah 64, Shafiq 56, Steyn 5-52) by 211 runs
Like day turns to night, Dale Steyn broke the back of Pakistan’s resistance with career-best match figures at the Wanderers as South Africa wrapped up a commanding 211-run victory and in the process AB de Villiers equalled the world record for dismissals by a wicketkeeper. Steyn, inevitably, produced another classy spell with the second new ball, and proceeded to bowl the rest of the morning, to end with 11 for 60 in the Test.
Misbah-ul-Haq and Asad Shafiq carried their fifth-wicket stand to 127 but after that there was not much more defiance from Pakistan’s lower order. Steyn bowled a 10.4-over spell, a herculean effort for a strike bowler, and his match figures placed him fifth on the list of cheapest 11-wicket hauls in Test cricket, the best since Sir Richard Hadlee in 1976.
Behind the stumps, de Villiers also had a morning to remember as he equalled Jack Russell’s world record of dismissals in a Test match which had also come on this ground back in 1995. He also became the first wicketkeeper to take 10 catches and score a hundred in a Test. The dual role is starting to rest more easily on his shoulders, although his bowlers are helping by not keeping him in the field for too long.
Resuming on 183 for 4, Misbah and Shafiq had five overs to face with the old ball which offered a few scoring opportunities but they always knew the threat that was looming around the corner. It took Steyn into just his second over before he found Shafiq’s edge as the batsman glanced the ball to second slip off an open face where Jacques Kallis took a low chance.
As the best strike bowlers do, Steyn continued to pick up the big wickets and in his next over produced another lovely outswinger which grazed Misbah’s edge to end a stubborn innings from which team-mates should heed plenty of lessons.
Steyn’s partner-in-crime, Vernon Philander, then nipped in with his second when Sarfraz Ahmed dragged a ball into his stumps when trying to withdraw the bat. Umar Gul and Saeed Ajmal resisted briefly before Morne Morkel produced a rearing short delivery which took Ajmal’s glove. Morkel’s front foot was again very close to the front line and he was soon denied another scalp by over-stepping when Junaid Khan was bowled swinging to leg.
Steyn’s long spell, a credit to his stamina and heart, brought his tenth wicket when Gul top-edged a leg-side slog, which also provided de Villiers with his record-equalling catch, although it needed the DRS to overturn the original decision. A new world record, though, just eluded him as the final wicket belonged solely to Steyn when he trapped Junaid lbw.
It completed another clinical display from South Africa, after an opening day when they had been put under some pressure by Pakistan’s bowlers. Again it was the home side’s own attack that has created daylight between them and the opposition. Pakistan bridged the gap a little second time around, but will be hoping for more placid conditions when they reach Newlands.
Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo