Pakistan live to die another day after spirited fightback


South Africa 431 for 6 (du Plessis 103, Bavuma 75, de Kock 59) lead Pakistan 177 by 254 runs

South Africa’s tail wagged with frenzied intent on the third morning at Newlands, as a series of cameos from their fast bowlers helped to add a further 49 runs to their overnight total in just under an hour, and leave Pakistan with a deficit of 254 runs going into their second innings.

All eyes on the resumption had been on Quinton de Kock, who had resumed on 55 with licence to “take their bowlers to a place that’s really hurting”, in the words of his captain, Faf du Plessis. Instead, he lasted just six balls – and one smashed boundary – before driving too eagerly at Mohammad Amir and edging low to Asad Shafiq at second slip.

By then, however, de Kock’s partner Vernon Philander had already cracked two supreme cover drives in consecutive balls off Mohammad Abbas, and his remaining team-mates took his cue in an entertaining mini-session.

Amir, his tail up after that early breakthrough, hit back for Pakistan in dramatic fashion with two more wickets in three balls, bowling Philander through the gate with a nipbacker that broke the leg stump via an inside edge, before ending Kagiso Rabada’s brief flurry by coming wider on the crease to splatter his stumps too.

But Dale Steyn and Duanne Olivier weren’t finished yet. Steyn in particular took delight in his licence to have a proper slog, smacking Amir for a four and a six over the leg side before being pinged on the helmet in the same over.

Olivier added two violent fours off his own off Shaheen Afridi, before uppercutting the same bowler to third man to hand Afridi his fourth wicket of the innings.

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