South Africa edge opening day thanks to Olivier as Steyn makes history

South Africa celebrate against Pakistan
South Africa celebrate against Pakistan

Dale Steyn and Duanne Olivier enjoyed memorable days with the ball at Centurion but South Africa did not have it all their own way at the start of the first Test against Pakistan.

Olivier's career-best figures of 6-37 came after Steyn had become South Africa's all-time leading wicket-taker, the 35-year-old finally moving past Shaun Pollock's haul of 421 Test scalps.

Steyn's milestone was followed by a fine display from Olivier, Pakistan's batsmen unable to cope with his ability to move the ball as they were dismissed for 181 in 47 overs.

South Africa found life no easier in their reply, though, as the tourists claimed five wickets before the close to leave the opening match of the three-game series nicely poised, the Proteas on 127-5 at stumps.

A twist in the tale!
South Africa had gained the upper hand through a strong stand between Bavuma and de Bruyn, but Amir's late strike has left the game evenly poised.
The hosts are 54 runs behind with five wickets in hand at stumps.#SAvPAK SCORE
— ICC (@ICC) December 26, 2018


Pakistan's decision to bat first backfired dramatically as they struggled, Imam-ul-Haq (0) the first to go in only the second over as Kagiso Rabada trapped him lbw – a review unable to save the opener.

Steyn took the new ball with Rabada and his landmark moment came in only his fourth over of the day, the paceman getting his 422nd Test wicket as Dean Elgar clung on at slip to remove Fakhar Zaman.

That moved Steyn past Pollock on the list, though he was unable to add further to his career tally as Olivier took centre stage.

Relive the moment when @DaleSteyn62 became the leading Test wicket taker for South Africa. #422andbeyond #ProteaFire #SteynRemover #Watch
— Cricket South Africa (@OfficialCSA) December 26, 2018


His first two wickets came before lunch as Shan Masood (19) played on and Asad Shafiq (7) was given lbw to a ball that straightened, the batsman wasting Pakistan's remaining review while attempting to stem South Africa's charge.

Pakistan started the second session 76-4 but were soon 111-8 as Olivier's impressive display continued. He removed Azhar Ali (36) – aided by a superb catch by Theunis de Bruyn at third slip – and Sarfraz Ahmed (0) in the same over before accounting for Mohammad Amir (1) to complete a five-wicket haul.

He went on to grab a sixth to finish off Pakistan, Shaheen Afridi (0) caught behind after Rabada (3-59) had dismissed Yasir Shah (4) and the resolute Babar Azam, who fought hard to make 71 off 79 balls, his resolute knock including 15 boundaries.

South Africa were able to reduce the deficit to 54 before stumps but it came at a cost. They at one stage slumped to 43-4, Afridi (2-36) taking two in two balls in the 15th over.

Aiden Markram (12) and Hashim Amla (8) were early departures before Afridi snared Elgar (22) and Faf du Plessis (0) in successive deliveries.

An unbeaten 38 from Temba Bavuma pushed South Africa close to parity before the end of play, the right-hander supported by De Bruyn (29) before the arrival of nightwatchman Steyn (13 not out).

Edited by Omnisport
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