Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Pakistan are edging closer to an innings defeat
Despite their batting line-up collapsing towards the beginning of day, South Africa are still firmly in the driver’s seat and looking more and more likely to beat Pakistan by an innings in the second Test in Dubai.
Starting out the day on 460/4 with captain Graeme Smith unbeaten on 227 off 367 balls, which included 16 boundaries, and wicketkeeper batsman AB de Villiers undefeated on 157 off 262 deliveries, which included 16 boundaries and a massive six, South Africa were looking to build on their immense lead of 361 runs.
Smith and de Villiers’ partnership had been worth 326 runs on day two, but they only managed to add 12 more runs before de Villiers was caught behind off the bowling of Mohammad Irfan for 164 off 274 balls, which included 17 boundaries and a six.
The 338-run stand between Smith and de Villiers is the highest fifth wicket partnership against Pakistan in Test matches.
The previous record was a 327-run partnership between Australia’s Justin Langer and Ricky Ponting in Perth in 1999.
Smith joined de Villiers back in the pavilion in almost no time at all as he was caught out off the bowling of Saeed Ajmal for 234.
Smith’s spectacular innings of 234 came off 388 deliveries and included 16 boundaries.
Following Smith’s dismissal, South Africa’s middle and lower order completely collapsed and they soon found themselves bowled out for 517, giving the Proteas a massive lead of 418.
This is the second-highest lead Pakistan have conceded while batting first in a Test match, with the first being a 462-run lead against the West Indies in Jamaica in 1958 when Sir Garfield Sobers smashed the then highest individual Test score of 365.
Ajmal was easily the pick of the Pakistani bowlers with a six-wicket haul, while Irfan snapped up three wickets and Zulfiqar Babar chipped in with one.
Trailing by 418 runs, Pakistan got off to the worst start possible as opening batsman Shan Masood was given out lbw off the fourth ball of the innings.
Masood’s opening partner, Khurram Manzoor, was dismissed in the very next over as he was caught out off the bowling of Vernon Philander.
Azhar Ali made a decent start once again, but failed to capitalise on it as he was given out lbw off the bowling of Jean Paul (JP) Duminy for 19.
Veteran batsman Younis Khan found himself in the same place as Ali as he managed to amass 36 runs before being clean bowled by Imran Tahir.
With Pakistan struggling at 70/4, skipper Misbah-ul-Haq and Asad Shafiq stabilised the innings with an unbeaten 62-run partnership before stumps was called.
Ul-Haq finished on 42 off 78 balls, which included three boundaries and a six, while Shafiq remained undefeated on 28 off 71 deliveries, which included three boundaries.
Steyn, Philander, Duminy and Tahir all picked up one wicket apiece.
Pakistan ended the day on 132/4 and will resume their second innings tomorrow at 10:00 local time or 06:00 GMT.