Dale Steyn has passed Shaun Pollock as leading wicket-taker for South Africa. Pic: Getty
Dale Steyn has passed Shaun Pollock as leading wicket-taker for South Africa. Pic: Getty

‘I had a lump in my throat’: Steyn sets South African record

Firebrand fast bowler Dale Steyn has become South Africa's leading wicket-taker in Test cricket and Duanne Olivier has taken career-best figures as Pakistan were bowled out for 181 on the opening day of the first Test at Centurion Park.

But the visitors mounted a spirited fightback with the ball, reducing South Africa to 5-127 at the close on Wednesday.

Top scorer Themba Bavuma (38 not out) and nightwatchman Steyn (13 not out) will resume on day two with the hosts still trailing by 54 runs.

Earlier, South Africa ripped through Pakistan after being asked to bowl by visiting captain Sarfraz Ahmed.

Olivier, in the side for the injured Vernon Philander, claimed 6-37 with his pace and accuracy on a wicket already showing variable bounce.

But the headlines will revolve around Steyn, who had opener Fakhar Zaman (12) caught at slip by Elgar to move to 422 test wickets, taking outright top spot on South Africa's all-time list ahead of Shaun Pollock.

He was hoisted on the shoulders of fast bowling partner Kagiso Rabada as the healthy Boxing Day crowd at Centurion Park gave him a standing ovation.

"I won't lie, when I was standing there at the top of my mark and everyone was standing up, I almost had a tear, I had a lump in my throat," Steyn said.

"Very pleased. Very happy."

Pollock, who was commentating on television, was one of the first to congratulate him as he came off the field for the lunch break and presented Steyn with a bottle of champagne.

"On all different wickets around the world he's been absolutely superb," Pollock said, "and what those figures don't tell is he's a fantastic guy as well."

The visitors were in early trouble when Rabada (3-59) had Imam-ul-Haq trapped lbw for a duck.

After Steyn (1-66) had removed Zaman with the score on 17, Pakistan moved past 50 before Shan Masood (19) played the ball on to his own stumps off the impressive Olivier.

Asad Shafiq (seven) never looked comfortable at the crease and became Olivier's second victim before lunch.

The fast bowler ripped through the middle order after the break, removing Azhar Ali (36), Sarfraz (0) and Mohammad Amir (1) in quick succession.

Pakistan were reduced to 8-111 but mounted an excellent fightback through Babar Azam (71 from 79 balls) as he put on 67 for the ninth wicket with Hasan Ali (21 not out) before being caught at second slip by Faf du Plessis off Rabada.

Pakistan continued their turnaround with the ball as they reduced the home side to 4-43 when Shaheen Afridi (2-36) took the wickets of Dean Elgar (22) and home captain Du Plessis (0) off successive deliveries, both off the edge of the bat.

Aiden Markram (12) and struggling Hashim Amla (8) also fell to high-quality fast bowling from Hasan and Amir, who picked up the wicket of Theunis de Bruyn (29) late in the day.