Disgruntled Skipper Sarfraz Ahmed reveals reasons for series defeat against South Africa

Disgruntled Skipper Sarfraz Ahmed reveals reasons for series defeat against South Africa

ISLAMABAD - Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed said the loss of five wickets on the first morning after his side were sent in had put Pakistan in a position from which it was difficult to recover.

A first innings total of 177 was not enough to put pressure on the South African batsmen, a situation made worse by what Sarfraz described as a poor bowling performance.

"Our bowling was not up to the mark," said Sarfraz. "Our bowling average speed was 130 (kilometres an hour), South Africa were bowling at 145. Our bowling was far better (in the first Test) in Centurion."

Apart from being down on pace, Sarfraz said the Pakistan bowlers delivered too many loose balls to provide scoring opportunities for the South African batsmen.

Sarfraz acknowledged that a single warm-up game had not been enough to prepare Pakistan for South African conditions but he took heart from the second innings in which Shan Masood, Asad Shafiq and Babar Azam scored impressive half-centuries.

"That is how you play Test cricket," he said. "We are getting better day by day. Hopefully we will do well in Johannesburg. We have nothing to lose."

South Africa lost a wicket and added another injury concern before Dean Elgar struck part-time bowler Azhar Ali for two boundaries to finish the match.

Theunis de Bruyn, opening in place of Aiden Markram, who suffered a badly bruised right thigh while fielding, made only four before he was caught off his glove by Sarfraz while attempting to pull a bouncer from Mohammad Abbas.

Hashim Amla was forced to retire hurt on two after being hit on the right upper arm by a ball from Mohammad Amir which lifted sharply off a good length. - APP/AFP