Pakistan batsmen played cautiously against South Africa in the final session to reach 100 for three at the end of Day Three at Cape Town on Sunday.
Resuming at 25 for the loss of two wickets, Pakistan added just 75 runs in the final session losing the wicket of senior batsman Younis Khan.
After bowling out South Africa for 326, 12 short of their first innings total, Pakistan began on a poor note losing both their openers for duck. However, Azhar Ali played sensibly to remain unbeaten on 45, adding small-but-valuable partnerships with Younis and Misbah-ul-Haq.
Earlier, Robin Peterson’s career-best innings of 84 helped South Africa post a total of 326.
After the fall of AB de Villiers in the first session the onus was on the tailenders to reduce the first innings deficit. Peterson looked in good touch as he shepherded his team towards a healthy score. Before this match his highest score was 61 runs against Bangladesh in 2003.
Everything that Peterson touched turned to gold. He clobbered the bowlers at will, played every shot in his book and even the faint edges flew over the keeper’s head. He looked good to reach the three figure mark.
Meanwhile, the seven-foot tall Mohammad Irfan continued to impress as he struck twice to remove Vernon Philander and Dale Steyn from the other end. Mohammad Hafeez later dismissed Peterson.
In response, Pakistan got off to a horrific start as they lost their openers in the first two overs. They were yet again caught napping against the new ball with both bowlers pitching it bang on target. Hafeez tried to play across to a Steyn delivery pitched in the line of stumps and thrashed in to his pads catching him plumb in front. Jamshed too was dismissed by Philander in a similar manner as the ball struck high on his pads. This time the batsman went for a referral, yet the decision was upheld as the replays showed the bails being disturbed.
At seven for two it looked like another debacle on the cards. However, Younis Khan and Azhar Ali batted out the rest of the overs to prevent any further casualties.
Brief Scores: Pakistan 338 & 100 for 3 (Azhar Ali 45*; Misbah-ul Haq 36*; Dale Steyn 2 for 24, Vernon Philander 1 for 26) lead South Africa 326 (Robin Peterson 84, AB de Villiers 61*; Saeed Ajmal 6 for 96, Mohammad Irfan 3 for 86) by 112 runs