PAK vs SA: Anrich Nortje celebrates with teammates after taking five wickets.© AFP
South Africa pacer Anrich Nortje has said that bowling in straighter lines has helped him quite a bit in the sub-continent conditions. Nortje’s remarks came after the close of play on day two of the ongoing second Test between Pakistan and South Africa. Hasan Ali picked two while Faheem Ashraf and Nauman Ali struck a wicket each to bring back Pakistan in the second Test against South Africa on Friday. Pakistan was bundled out for 272 in the first innings courtesy of a five-wicket haul by Anrich Nortje but the visitors soon handed away the advantage after losing four wickets in the third session on day two of the second Test.
“At home, if you run in hard, bowl fast, and get the ball in the right areas, you’ve already sort of taken a wicket a lot of the time. But, particularly in the last while, I try to keep my angles – even where I start running from – as straight as possible. That’s helped me a lot, particularly in the subcontinent. Sometimes, when I go a bit wider, because there’s not a lot of bounce here, it’s an easy cut shot most of the time. In South Africa, you’re trying to get into that channel. Here you’re trying to hit the stumps most of the time, and you also don’t want to be bowling on a leg stump. It’s one thing I’ve focused on a lot,” ESPNCricinfo quoted Nortje as saying.
“We had a chat about the energy of the fast bowlers and trying to create something in our spells – to not bowl too long and when we do come on try and create something. That’s what happened in this game. We didn’t bowl long spells and we tried to dig it in as much as possible and hit the wicket as much as possible. That was the plan, to bowl short spells and try to have as much energy as you can,” he added.
Nortje scalped the wickets of Abid Ali, Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan, Nauman Ali, and Shaheen Afridi to end up with figures of 5-56 from 24.3 overs.
“With the hardball there is some bounce. I don’t think the fast bowlers will be completely out of it, I think there might be different opportunities and different ways of taking wickets like we saw the ball keeping low, so that might come into it,” said Nortje.
“Getting a performance in the subcontinent definitely means a lot. Hopefully, I can just grow as a fast bowler,” he added.
South Africa ended day two at 106-4 and the visitors are still trailing by 166 runs. For the Proteas, Quinton de Kock and Temba Bavuma are still at the crease.
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