Temba Bavuma’s 53 and Quinton de Kock’s 45 helped the Proteas take a 42-run lead, after being bowled out for 223 by lunch on day two of the Centurion Boxing Day Test.
After an even day one of Test cricket on Boxing Day, Pakistan started day two as expected. They dismissed nightwatchman Dale Steyn for a handy 23, but also endured a few beautifully-played boundaries from Bavuma.
Bavuma sparked his side’s recovery as he converted his overnight score of 38 into a 12th half-century. He could only help his side to 170 – 11 runs behind Pakistan – before he lost his wicket to Shaheen Afridi. The left-handed Shaheen Afridi went around the wicket to the right-hander, angling the ball across the batsman, who was drawn forward into a block which he edged to the keeper.
Quinton de Kock and Keshav Maharaj snuck the Proteas into the lead. But Maharaj could only contribute four before being trapped lbw by Hasan Ali for his second of the match.
De Kock needed a partner to help him push the Proteas into a solid lead. Rabada could add four fours for his 19 before he became Shaheen’s fourth victim.
The wicketkeeper-batsman decided to farm the strike to prevent exposing Duanne Olivier, and he switched into T20 mode to attempt quick runs before lunch. With the Proteas on 220-9, De Kock added two runs before he was dismissed.
Lunch was called with Pakistan 42 runs behind heading into their second innings.
Pakistan (first innings) – 181 (Babar Azam 71, Azhar Ali 36; Duanne Olivier 6-37, Kagiso Rabada 3-59, Dale Steyn 1-66).
Proteas (first innings) –223 (Temba Bavuma 53, Quinton de Kock 45; Shaheen Afridi 4-64, Mohammad Amir 4-62)