South Africa took their total to 248 for the loss of seven wickets at lunch on Day Three of the second Test at Cape Town on Saturday.
At the end of Day Two, the home side were reeling at 139 for five, barely managing to avoid follow-on. AB de Villiers and Dean Elgar got off to a steady start trying to get close to Pakistan’s total.
Saeed Ajmal continued his magical spell to add one more to his kitty dismissing Dean Elgar for 23 runs. Ajmal constantly tossed the ball up and invited Elgar to come out of his crease. The batsman eventually fell for the trap as he edged the ball to Younis Khan who completed the formalities comfortably. The off-spinner has so far picked all of the South African wickets in this innings.
After the fall of Elgar, de Villiers steadied along with Robin Peterson and completed his half century. He was the only batsman who looked rock solid against Ajmal.
The duo of De Villiers and Peterson steadied the ship for Proteas and took the total past 200.
Skipper Misbah-ul-Haq opted for the new ball right after 80 overs in order to prevent the batsmen from building a partnership. The decision paid off as debutant Mohammad Irfan got the priced wicket of de Villiers. The wicketkeeper played a vital innings of 61 runs. The batsman got a leading edge as he tried to clip the delivery on the leg side. Umar Gul took a simple catch to push South Africa to the wall.
After the departure of de Villiers, Peterson played some aggresive shots and brought down the lead down to two figures.
Post Lunch Pakistan bowlers will need to go hard at the tailenders and dismiss the home side as early as possible. A handy lead going into the second innings will infuse a much needed confidence to post a challenging target for the Proteas.
Brief Scores: Pakistan 338 all out (Younis Khan 111, Asad Shafiq 111; Vernon Philander 5 for 59, Morne Morkel 2 for 59) lead South Africa 248 for 7 (AB de Villiers 61, Robin Peterson 40*; Saeed Ajmal 6 for 76, Mohammad Irfan 1 for 52) by 90 runs
First Published: February 16, 2013, 4:08 pm