Hashim Amla (71) and Quinton de Kock (77 not out) helped the Proteas take a commanding 309-run lead by lunch on day three of the third Test against Pakistan.
After a topsy-turvy day two of Test cricket at the Wanderers, Amla and De Kock brought calm to the contest on the third morning.
The Proteas ended day two in a comparatively comfortable position, despite finishing the day five wickets down with 135 on the board. The pair did, however, manage to push the Proteas into a 212-run lead, to which they gradually added from the start of day three.
Hashim Amla’s innings, in particular, was turning out to be a solid lesson to all young cricketers and all Test cricketers in the modern-day game.
He showed patience to leave the bad balls and hit the good ones. The way he analysed, adjusted and executed his game plan according to what was dished out by the bowlers was admirable. It also allowed De Kock to play at his own pace, which was key to their game-changing partnership.
As a result, both players reached their half-centuries – De Kock his 15th and Amla his 41st.
Amla battled his way to 71 off 144 balls, before Hasan Ali’s perseverance paid off. He hit the perfect area consecutively until it paid off. Ali found a crack and the ball took off, beating Amla’s defensive shot as it feathered the glove on the way through to the wicketkeeper. The pair strung together 102 runs for the sixth wicket.
Vernon Philander joined De Kock and provided the necessary support to help the Proteas creep to a 300-run lead.
Philander contributed 14 before he was trapped lbw, courtesy of a low yorker from Mohammad Amir.
De Kock finished the morning session unbeaten on 77.
South Africa 262 (first innings) – Aiden Markram (90), Theunis de Bruyn (48); Faheem Ashraf (3-57), Mohammad Amir (2-36)
Pakistan 185 (first innings)– Sarfraz Ahmed (50), Babar Azam (49), Imam-ul-Haq (43); Duanne Olivier (5-51), Vernon Philander (3-43)
South Africa 232-7 (second innings) – Hashim Amla (71), Quinton de Kock (77*); Faheem Ashraf (2-33)
Proteas lead by 309 runs
Photo: Lee Warren/Gallo Images