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South Africa concede slender lead as bowlers come hard on Pakistan at Tea on Day 3

Proteas concede slender lead as bowlers come hard on visitors at tea on Day 3

Dale Steyn struck in the first over of Pakistan’s second innings removing Mohammad hafeez for a duck © Getty Images

Cape Town: Feb 16, 2013

Pakistan were struggling at 25 for the loss of two wickets at Tea on Day Three of the second Test at Cape Town. Earlier, Robin Peterson’s career-best innings of 84 helped South Africa post a total of 326, just 12 short of Pakistan’s total.

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 vs 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 7 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. Post tea, the bowlers will try to strangle their hold and end on a positive note on Day Three.

Brief Scores: Pakistan 338 & 25 for 2 (Azhar Ali 19*; Dale Steyn 1 for 14, Vernon Philander 1 for 11) lead South Africa 326 (Robin Peterson 84, AB de Villiers 61*; Saeed Ajmal 6 for 96, Mohammad Irfan 3 for 86) by 37 runs

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