We look forward to three possibilities on day 3 of the third Test between South Africa and Pakistan at the Wanderers in Johannesburg on Sunday, writes SIMON LEWIS.
It looks increasingly like the Wanderers is going to be lucky to see any action on day four of the third Test in the way ball has dominated bat, which is ironic because there have been periods when the batsmen have looked exceedingly comfortable at the crease.
1) Hashim goes big
We’ve been waiting some time for a big one from Hash, and day 3 is set up perfectly for the great man to deliver his 29th Test century to equal the record of the great Sir Don Bradman.
Pakistan are already staring a sizeable target in the face, and with the series lost there is always the chance that the bowlers’ shoulders might droop as Hashim and Quinton build a 150-plus run partnership, ensuring the Proteas pile on a mammoth second-innings score.
2) The Proteas declare at lunch and roll Pakistan
Considering that Pakistan has scored just 181, 190, 177, 294 and 185 in the series to date, Dean Elgar is in a position that he could declare overnight and still have an excellent chance of going for the win. With three days still to play there’s obviously no need for such drastic measures, but if the Proteas can add a hundred runs in the morning session they will surely have enough to bowl Pakistan out without too much danger of the visitors knocking off the runs.
Just to be cheeky, I’m going with Elgar declaring at lunch and his bowlers running through Pakistan to have them all out before the close. In reality, if Amla or De Kock don’t get stuck in, then the Proteas will probably be all out by lunch anyway, and in turn The Olivier Four will knock Pakistan over in two sessions to secure the series whitewash.
3) Pakistan win before close of play
The way the Proteas collapsed in the first innings augurs well for the Pakistan bowlers … but only if they hit the field with real fire in their bellies tomorrow. While I believe Hashim and Quinton are going to give us a batting treat tomorrow, it only takes two good deliveries to have them both back in the hut.
The Proteas could conceivably be bowled out without adding too much tomorrow, in so doing setting Pakistan 250 runs or less for the win … and while that would be their second highest score of the series, they have nothing to lose, so they are likely to bat with great freedom. In addition, the pace at which some of the Pakistan batsmen have been racing along suggests that (should this scenario play out) the third Test could be over on Sunday evening.
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