Pakistan won the toss and decided to bat in the first Test against South Africa at SuperSport Park on Wednesday.

“They are lovely conditions,” said Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed, “But the first hour is very important. (Playing in South Africa is) a great challenge but we have to play positive cricket here.”

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South African captain Faf du Plessis said he also would have batted. “The first hour can be tricky. You look at the grass and think you have to bowl first but with the heat the cracks will open up later in the game.”

Play was due to get under way on a well-grassed pitch on a hot day with the temperature expected to reach 36 degrees.


South African: Faf du Plessis (captain), Dean Elgar, Aiden Markram, Hashim Amla, Temba Bavuma, Theunis de Bruyn, Quinton de Kock (wkt), Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Dale Steyn, Duanne Olivier

Pakistan: Sarfraz Ahmed (captain/wkt), Imam-ul-Haq, Fakhar Zaman, Shan Masood, Azhar Ali, Asad Shafiq, Babar Azam, Mohammad Amir, Yasir Shah, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Shah Afridi

Umpires: Bruce Oxenford (AUS), Sundaram Ravi (IND)

TV umpire: Joel Wilson (WIN)

Match referee: David Boon (AUS)

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