AB de Villiers equalled Jack Russell’s 14 year old record for most catches in a single Test with his 11 catches in South Africa’s 211 run win against Pakistan in the first Test at Johannesburg on Monday.
Dale Steyn followed up his sensational first innings haul of 6/8 with figures of 5/52 in the second innings. de Villiers had similar returns, taking 6 of his catches in Pakistan’s first innings and 5 in the second. He equalled the record with the catch that signaled Pakistan’s 9th wicket, Umar Gul. Gul was initially given not out but the decision was overturned after SA went for a referral.
He had a chance to overhaul the Englishman’s record when Pakistan’s last pair of Junaid Khan and Rahat Ali were batting. There was also a shout from Steyn for a caught behind but it turned out that Junaid had only managed to get some pad on a delivery. Two balls later however he was out LBW to Steyn, Pakistan’s second innings was wrapped up on 268 to give Graeme Smith his 48th Test win in his 100th Test as skipper.
Chasing a target of 480, Pakistan’s second innings saw Mohammad Hafeez going early for just 2 runs. Fears of a repeat of their first innings collapse were however allayed by Nasir Jamshed (46) and Azhar Ali (18) who added 57 for the second wicket, a whole 8 runs more than their first innings total of 49. Steyn, Kallis and Morkel however returned to strike fear with 3 quick wickets to send the two back alongwith Younis Khan, reducing Pakistan to 82/4.
Asad Shafiq (56) and Misbah ul Haq (64) then shared a dogged stand, taking Pakistan to 183/4 at Stumps on Day 3.
Kallis and Morkel came on ahead of Steyn on Day 4, giving Misbah time to bring up his half century and Pakistan’s 200.
But Steyn struck in just his 2nd over of the day, getting Shafiq caught behind to end the 127 run partnership for the fifth wicket. Misbah followed two overs later and SA were thinking of early lunch. Saeed Ajmal, Umar Gul and Junaid Khan swung their bats to pinch a few runs off SA’s attack at the end but Steyn had the last word as SA went 1-0 up in the 3 Test series.