Firebrand fast bowler Dale Steyn become South Africa’s leading wicket-taker in test cricket as he helped reduce Pakistan to 76 for four at lunch on the opening day of the first test at Centurion Park on Wednesday.
Steyn had opener Fakhar Zaman (12) caught at second slip by Dean Elgar to move to 422 test wickets, taking outright top spot on the South Africa all-time list ahead of Shaun Pollock. He was hoisted on the shoulders of fast bowling partner Kagiso Rabada as the healthy Pretoria crowd gave him a standing ovation.
He will hope to make further inroads into the Pakistan batting line-up in the second session with Azhar Ali (31 not out) and Babar Azam (six not out) looking to rebuild for the visitors on a pitch that has a green tinge and is already showing some variable bounce.
Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed had won the toss and elected to bat, but his side were in early trouble when Rabada (1-31) had Imam-ul-Haq trapped leg before wicket for a duck.
After Steyn (1-26) had removed Zaman with the score on 17, Pakistan moved past 50 before Shan Masood (19) played the ball onto his own stumps off the impressive Duanne Olivier (2-19).
Asad Shafiq (seven) never looked comfortable at the crease and became Olivier’s second victim when he was hit in front of the wickets by a ball that was clipping to the top of leg stump.
Pakistan have won only one of their previous test series home and away against the Proteas, and lost 3-0 on their last visit to the country in 2013. They have won only four of their 23 tests at all venues against the South Africans.