Duanne Olivier dominates once again to put South Africa in control of second Test against Pakistan

Olivier once again caused Pakistan batsmen problems with his pace and bounce in Cape Town. (AFP)
Updated 03 January 2019

Duanne Olivier dominates once again to put South Africa in control of second Test against Pakistan

  • Tall pace ace in the wickets again to leave Pakistan struggling at Newlands.
  • Hosts 123 for two at the close having bowled Pakistan out for 177.

CAPE TOWN: Duanne Olivier led another fast bowling assault on Pakistan’s batsmen as South Africa took control on the first day of the second Test at Newlands on Thursday. Olivier took four for 48 as Pakistan were bowled out for 177 after being sent in on a hard, green-tinged pitch.
Aiden Markram struck an assured 78 as South Africa reached 123 for two at the close.
Olivier followed up a match-winning performance in the first Test in Centurion, while Dale Steyn took three for 48.
Captain Sarfraz Ahmed hit 56 and Shan Masood made 44 to lift an otherwise poor Pakistan batting performance.
South Africa’s decision to pick an all-pace attack paid dividends with all four fast bowlers picking up wickets, with most of the Pakistan batsmen looking vulnerable against fast, short-pitched deliveries.
As at Centurion, where he had match figures of 11 for 96, Olivier lived up to the “enforcer” tag given him by captain Faf du Plessis, regularly landing the ball in his own half of the pitch and making it rear up toward the batsmen.
Unlike Centurion, the pitch itself was not a major factor in Pakistan’s collapse. It was hard and there was some green grass on the surface but the bounce was largely true and there was no exaggerated sideways movement.
The only ball that misbehaved markedly was the last of the day when part-time seamer Shan Masood bowled Markram with a ball which nipped back and kept low.
Azhar Ali, Pakistan’s most experienced batsman, fell to a short ball from Olivier for the third time in a row, fending tamely to first slip. Five of his teammates also were dismissed by short deliveries.
Pakistan’s batting was put into perspective when Markram and Dean Elgar put on 56 for the first wicket at almost five runs an over.
Mohammad Amir put a brake on the scoring by having Elgar caught behind during a second spell in which he conceded only eight runs in five overs but Markram and Hashim Amla steadily built a second wicket stand of 67 off 109 balls.
Markram, who had not reached 20 in his previous six Test innings, struck the ball firmly in reaching a half-century off 64 balls with 11 fours. He added another three fours and a straight six off leg-spinner Yasir Shah before being surprised by Masood at the end of the day after a 96-ball innings.
Sarfraz provided the brightest interlude for Pakistan after coming in with his team in danger of a total collapse at 54 for five. Looking to counter-attack at every opportunity, Sarfraz put on 60 for the sixth wicket with Shan Masood (44) and 42 for the seventh wicket with Mohammad Amir (22 not out).
Sarfraz hit nine fours in an 81-ball innings. Masood faced 71 deliveries and hit five fours and a hooked six off Kagiso Rabada.


Female footballers from remote Chitral bring their game to Pakistani capital

Updated 28 January 2021

Female footballers from remote Chitral bring their game to Pakistani capital

  • Chitral Women’s Sports Club founder Karishma Ali has organized a week-long training camp for female athletes in Islamabad
  • Club, founded two years ago with 60 girls, now has over 150 members

RAWALPINDI: Forty young football enthusiasts in matching black tracksuits jogged down the cement bleachers framing the expansive football pitch of the Islamabad Sports Complex on Tuesday, egging one another on and cheering as they embarked on a new day of sports and fun.

While athletes of all stripes could be seen on the many fields and tracks of the complex, what made this particular sight unique was that all of the athletes were young girls from Pakistan’s northernmost, long-neglected region of Chitral. The girls were brought to the capital by the Chitral Women’s Sports Club, the brainchild of national football star Karishma Ali.

Running a football club for girls from poor families in a remote, mountainous area of Pakistan is not easy during a pandemic, but Ali has not let the challenging circumstances stop her from pursuing her dream of helping girls in her native Chitral region.

“Usually when we do our activities, it’s kept secret and done far from their villages for security reasons,” Ali, 23, told Arab News on Tuesday, at the Islamabad Sports Complex. “This is why I brought them here, to give them a more comfortable environment. You can already see the change in their confidence, how they are playing out in the open versus at home.”

Ali started her club two years ago with 60 girls between the ages of 8 and 16. Now the club has over 150 members who ski and play volleyball, cricket and football.

Ali hopes the club will help the girls overcome both sexual discrimination and poverty in a country where boys’ education and sports are prioritized. Her dream is to help her girls win sports scholarships in professional colleges in Pakistan and beyond.

“These girls have talent,” said Ali, who has represented her country at international football tournaments. “If we get requisite support, we can have 1,000 female footballers from Chitral.”

In Islamabad, the footballers are attending a week-long camp from Jan. 23-29 under Coach Jose Alonso who runs a Spanish Football Academy in the capital. The camp has also given them the opportunity to interact and play with other female football stars.

“I am excited and happy because I see the girls smiling every day,” said Ali. “I haven’t seen a single upset face. They are getting the chance not only to play the way other athletes get to play and practice out in the open, but also to have fun.”

Indeed, for many of the girls, aged between 12 and 16, this is their first time away from home and in the capital.

“We do not get opportunities like this back home. Just having the chance to come and play every day has been really fun,” Zakira Nida, 14, said. “That’s what we lack the most: opportunities.”

“Boys get a lot of chances to play in our region,” said Mehek Sultan, 15. “But our society does not just consist of boys. We are here, too. We should also get to play because participating in sports is good for everyone.”

The Pakistani women’s football team, which faced a FIFA ban due to inactivity in 2013, remained dormant even after the ban was lifted in 2017. Last year in October 2020, the Pakistan Football Federation began work to revive the sport by organizing football camps.

Ali’s own passion for football began when she was nine years old and watched the 2006 FIFA World Cup with her father.

“I just knew this is the game for me,” she had said in media interviews last year.

But it was not easy. When the community discovered Ali’s football career, some were deeply hostile, and she received messages threatening to kill her if she continued.

“It was seen as inappropriate culturally because I would wear shorts, thereby baring my skin,” she told reporters.

The situation eased in 2019 when Ali was selected for Forbes magazine’s 30 Under 30 Asia list of rising stars and the community began to recognize her achievements.

Now, Ali says it is high time people in Pakistani sports management begin to believe in women.

“Women’s teams are becoming famous all over the world,” she said. “In the US, they are winning the fight to be paid equally and we are still fighting for our right to play.”