South Africa on brink of Test series win

PESHAWAR: South Africa were at the brink of a series victory against Pakistan at the end of the third day play in Cape Town Test after bowling out Pakistan for 294 runs.

Pakistan scored 177 runs in their first innings, while South Africa scored 431 which meant that Pakistan had to face first inning deficit of 254 runs. Mohammad Aamir and Shaheen Shah Afridi took four wickets each, while Shan Masood and Mohammad Abbas took one wicket apiece in South Africa’s first inning.

Pakistan’s start to the second inning on Saturday wasn’t ideal, however, the middle order performed well this time to take the score to 294, leaving the Proteas needing just 41 runs for victory today (Sunday).

Asad Shafiq marked return to form with his aggressive 88, Shan Masood scored 61 and Babar Azam added 72 with some assistance from tail-enders to frustrate South African bowlers in the last session of the day. It was the first time Pakistan crossed the 200 mark in their tour to South Africa. Pakistan were also aided by dropped catches and some no-ball calls.

However, again the first inning small total meant that they still have a very thin lead which is likely to be washed away by South Africa today with ease.

For South Africa, Kagiso Rabada and Dale Steyn took four wickets each, while Philander and Olivier got one wicket apiece.

It will be seventh straight series win for South Africa on their soil. South Africa haven’t lost a home series since losing to England in 2015-16.

South Africa are leading the three-Test series against Pakistan 1-0.

After conclusion of the Test series, Pakistan will also play five-match one day international series and a T20 series against South Africa.

Meanwhile, Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur complained the pitches for the first two Tests were not fit for Test cricket. South Africa rejected the criticism. Proteas are using fast pitches at home to suit their pace attack and this formula is working well for them. It worked well for them in series against India and Australia and now Pakistan also seems to have no answer to it.