Asad Shafiq kept Pakistan in the contest as they chase 228 runs for victory with seven wickets in hand in the third Test against the Proteas, writes KHALID MOHIDIN.
The Proteas dominated day three of the third Test against Pakistan. Despite a fightback from the visitors that saw the Proteas five down for 135 by the end of day two, Hashim Amla and Quinton de Kock pulled their side out of a potentially troublesome situation on the third morning of the match.
They picked up where they left off at the end of day two, Amla scoring an impressive 144-ball 71 as he shared a 102-run partnership with De Kock as the Proteas took a 309-run lead into lunch.
Amla fell shortly before lunch, but it was De Kock who lit up the Wanderers with an exquisite performance that saw him break a two-year century drought.
He scored 18 fours and a six as he equalled his career-best score of 129. The Proteas were bowled out 40 minutes before tea for 303, setting Pakistan a daunting 381 to chase.
Pakistan started their second innings with intent as Imam-ul-Haq and Shan Masood racked up 34-0 in seven overs with relative ease.
They continued their fine start and managed to string together a 67-run partnership before Dale Steyn took out both openers.
Steyn firstly removed Imam. Bowling around the wicket, the paceman banged in a short-of-a-length delivery at the left-hander that found a faint edge to send him packing with his score on 35.
Masood (37) was Steyn’s next victim and it was a crucial wicket for the Phalaborwa Express that pushed him into the top 10 of all-time wicket-takers with 433 scalps.
— SA Cricket magazine (@SACricketmag) January 13, 2019
Asad Shafiq and Azhar Ali played with an air of freedom to edge Pakistan past the 100-run mark, but Azhar only managed 15 before Duanne Olivier banged in a short delivery that was gloved to De Kock behind the stumps. This was the fourth time that Olivier has removed the Pakistan batsman with the short-pitched delivery in the series.
Asad continued his attacking approach and finished the day with his score on 48 off 47 balls, with his score including eight fours.
South Africa 262 (first innings) – Aiden Markram (90), Theunis de Bruyn (48); Faheem Ashraf (3-57), Mohammad Amir (2-36)
Pakistan 185 (first innings) – Sarfaraz Ahmed (50), Babar Azam (49), Imam-ul-Haq (43); Duanne Olivier (5-51), Vernon Philander (3-43)
South Africa 303 (second innings) – Quinton de Kock (129) Hashim Amla (71); Shadab Khan (41), Faheem Ashraf (3-42)
Pakistan 153-3 (second innings) – Asad Shafiq (48), Shan Masood (37); Dale Steyn (2-37)
Pakistan need 228 runs for victory with seven wickets in hand
Photo: Shaun Roy/Gallo Images