JOHANNESBURG: South Africa have made a scintillating comeback after their batting collapse in the first innings of the game by bundling out Pakistan to only 185 runs in the all-important third test.
Once again, Pakistan’s batting line-up proved to be too fragile in front of the solid bowling attack of the Proteas as no one in the top order except the opener Imam ul Haq was able to withstand for a while.
Proteas will begin their second innings of the test match with a decent lead of 77 runs.
Quickfire fifty of the Skipper Sarfaraz on just 40 balls was a great moment in the match for the visitors. Unfortunately, Babar missed his half-century just by a single run as he was caught out on 49 of to Olivier’s bowling.
Sarfaraz Ahmed and often regarded as Pakistan’s backbone in batting, Babar Azam made a fighting 78 runs partnership for the sixth wicket but soon Sarfaraz Ahmed was sent back to Pavilion by Kagiso Rabada.
Pakistan began their day at 17 for loss of two vital wickets. At lunch session, Pakistan were 111 for five, 151 runs behind South Africa’s first innings total of 262.
The Proteas missed four catches and two run-out chances in the first hour of play.
Imam-ul-Haq and nightwatchman Mohammad Abbas were both dropped twice as South Africa were unable to separate the pair before the morning drinks break.
Two catches went down off Dale Steyn and one each off Vernon Philander and Kagiso Rabada as Pakistan added 36 runs to their overnight 17 for two.
Imam fell for 43 when he was caught at second slip off Philander but Babar Azam struck the ball crisply to be 41 not out at lunch off 39 balls.
Pakistan is facing the fear of whitewash in the series as South Africa have an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series.
SA are playing under the leadership of Dean Elger as the Cape Town Test century-maker and series winner captain Faf Du Plessis is not playing due to slow over-rate penalty.
Pakistan does not have good memories with Johannesburg as in 2016 Pakistan played with South Africa here, and got all out for 49 runs only which is their lowest total in the history.
While South Africa recently played here in March 2018 with Australia and won that match with a heavy margin of 492 runs.