Zimbabwe were 36-0 at tea after a Morné Morkel-inspired South Africa enforced the follow-on earlier on day two at St George’s Park.
Zimbabwe are in danger of losing this four-day Test – the inaugural day-night Test in South Africa – inside two days. Given what transpired late on day one and during the first 68 minutes of day two, the tourists can barely survive, let alone force the Proteas to bat again.
Morkel claimed two scalps early in the session to complete his seventh five-for in Test cricket. Kagiso Rabada and Andile Phehlukwayo were also rewarded for some disciplined bowling with two wickets apiece.
South Africa took to the field on day two knowing that Quinton de Kock would play no further part in the game. The wicketkeeper-batsman injured his hamstring late on day one, and it is hoped that he will be fit for the first Test against India at Newlands, which starts on 5 January.
AB de Villiers did well for South Africa behind the stumps, surpassing the 200-mark for Test catches during Zimbabwe’s first innings. However, De Villiers has battled with back problems over the course of his career and may not be considered for the wicketkeeper position next week if De Kock’s injury proves serious.
Ultimately, South Africa dismissed Zimbabwe for 68 inside 32 overs. Batting conditions weren’t especially tough. The bowling, however, was particularly good.
De Villiers, the stand-in skipper, did not hesitate to enforce the follow-on. Zimbabwe, trailing by 241 runs before the first delivery of the second innings, were in serious trouble.
It didn’t take long for Morkel to make an impression in the second dig. The fast bowler struck Hamilton Masakadza on the elbow with a fierce delivery, and the Zimbabwe opener was forced to retire hurt.
Justice Chibhabha and Craig Ervine managed to steer Zimbabwe to tea thereafter. It won’t get any easier for the batsmen as the day progresses though.
Nine wickets fell during the evening session on day one. Zimbabwe may struggle to survive later tonight and take the contest into a third day.
SA 309-9 declared (1st innings) – Aiden Markram 125, AB de Villiers 53, Kyle Jarvis 3-57, Christopher Mpofu 3-58
Zimbabwe 68 all out (1st innings) – Kyle Jarvis 23, Morné Morkel 5-21, Kagiso Rabada 2-12, Andile Phehlukwayo 2-12
Zimbabwe 36-0 (2nd innings, following on) – Craig Ervine 13 not out, Justice Chibhabha 6 not out
Zimbabwe trail by 205
Photo: Richard Huggard/Gallo Images