Feb 6 (Reuters) – South Africa’s George Linde overcame injury on the opening day of the second test against Pakistan in Rawalpindi to bowl his side back into contention to win, after taking three key wickets on Saturday.
Left-arm spinner Linde recorded figures of 3-12 in nine tight overs as Pakistan closed the third day with a 200-run lead and four second-innings wickets remaining on a wearing pitch.
But it is remarkable that Linde is bowling at all after badly injuring the little finger on his left hand while trying to stop a rocket shot off his own bowling on the first day.
“I thought it was my season done when I saw the injury,” Linde told reporters. “I just started running off the field because I saw bone sticking out (on the finger).
“As I started running, I just popped it back in myself. I got stitches and went for X-rays and luckily it was not broken.”
The finger is heavily strapped, but he has been able to bowl, and his wickets late on the third day have kept the tourists in with a chance of sharing the two-game series.
“I had to make a small adjustment with the grip (of the ball), but not too much. I never actually knew I used my pinkie when I bowl, but every time now I have to first lift it up a little to get a better grip on the ball.”
South Africa have passed 300 just once in their last 17 away innings and their batting has been brittle again this series, not matching the excellent work done by the bowlers.
But all-rounder Linde is optimistic they can chase down anything under 300 with two full days remaining, though he admits quick wickets are needed on the fourth morning.
“Some balls were keeping low, but I believe we will have good game-plans for tomorrow.
“For us, (chasing) anything under 300, we will take it. But hopefully it is somewhere between 220 to 250. Then I am confident we will chase it down.” (Reporting by Nick Said; Editing by Hugh Lawson)
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