Pakistan survives and prays for rain – first Test vs. South Africa

Pakistan 49 and 4-183 (Asad Shafiq 53*, Misbah-ul-Haq 44*, Dale Steyn 1-26) requires another 297 to win vs. South Africa 253 and 3-275 declared (AB de Villiers 103*, Hashim Amla 74*, Umar Gul 2-58)

The Pakistani batsman showed an improved performance in their second innings while chasing a huge target and they anticipate rain for a draw vs. South Africa.

The Proteas put on board a reasonable total of 253 runs in the first innings and declared their second innings at 3-275. Pakistan was crushed to their lowest score in the first innings for 49 followed by a fighting 4-183 after 75 overs in the second.

The third day’s play concluded on Sunday, February 3, 2013, at New Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg.

Earlier, the Proteas initiated their second innings at 3-207 after 53 overs, AB de Villiers and Hashim Amla were at the crease with 63 and 50 runs accordingly. The pair started off briskly by getting 5 fours in the first four overs and they continued with the same style.

AB de Villiers - Plundered his 15th Test ton
AB de Villiers – Plundered his 15th Test ton

AB devilliers thrashed his 15th Test century on the last ball of the 62nd over and remained unbeaten for 103 off 117 balls with 11 fours, Hashim Amla secured his end at 74 as their skipper, Graeme Smith, declared the second innings on 275 in 62 overs.

Umar Gul held two wickets and Saeed Ajmal took one whereas the rest four bowlers remained wicketless.

Pakistan needed 480 runs to win the match as nearly three days were still left in the game. They had a dismal beginning again when Mohammad Hafeez was caught behind by AB de Villiers off Vernon Philander for just two runs on the last delivery of the fourth over. Azhar Ali walked in next as Nasir Jamshed was picking up runs fluently with odd boundaries. Azhar was playing a subdued innings and scored just one run off the first 16 balls he faced and tasted his first four in the 10th over. Nasir Jamshed added few more boundaries in the following overs but fell at 46 while playing a poor shot and was caught at short midwicket by Robin Peterson off Dale Steyn.

The second wicket was lost at 64 and six runs later Azhar Ali was declared leg before wicket off Jacques Kallis for 15 runs. The captain of Pakistan, Misbah-ul-Haq joined in with Younis Khan and they crept to 82 in 29.5 overs when the latter was gone for 15 runs. The visitors were once again under tremendous pressure as Asad Shafiq associated with Misbah-Ul-Haq. The score reached 97 after 34 overs and the first hundred of the innings was displayed on screen in the 39th over. Both batsmen tried to defend and save their wickets instead of taking any risks and survived few confident appeals as well.

The score was enhanced to 116 in 50 overs and the duo hit a four each in the 53rd over followed by 2 fours by Asad Shafiq two overs later. The score board kept ticking and displayed 153 runs after 60 overs as Asad Shafiq got a lucky break at 40 when he was caught on the fourth ball of the 62nd over but the delivery was called no ball from the third umpire. Misbah-ul-Haq was dropped at 31 on the second ball of the next over by Peterson at point off Kallis and there was a sigh of relief for him as well. Both of them saw the day off with great determination as the visitors managed 183 after sharing an unbroken 101 runs partnership for the fifth wicket. Misbah-ul-Haq and Asad Shafiq were unbeaten with 44 and 53 runs respectively and done well for their team.

Dale Steyn, Vernon Philander, Morne Morkel and Jacques Kallis shared one wicket each.

Pakistan still faces an uphill task of scoring another 297 runs to win the match while two complete days are still left in the game. It looks a tough challenge for the visitors as they have already lost four top order batsmen but there is prediction of rain in the last two days of the match and that can save them the game.


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