De Kock ton sets Pak huge tar­get

Hindustan Times ST (Jaipur) - - World - As­so­ci­ated Press sports­[email protected]­dus­tan­times.com

JOHANNESBURG: Quin­ton de Kock made a free-flow­ing cen­tury at No. 7 and equalled his ca­reerbest score as South Africa turned the screw on Pak­istan on Sun­day by set­ting the tourists 381 to win the fi­nal Test and avoid a se­ries white­wash.

The scale of the chal­lenge for Pak­istan is sig­nif­i­cant. They now need to make the sec­ond­high­est fourth-in­nings score ever at the Wan­der­ers to avoid los­ing the se­ries 3-0.

Pak­istan were 34-0 in their chase at tea on the third day and with more than two days of the fast-mov­ing Test left, sur­viv­ing for a draw is un­likely.

De Kock hit 129 from just 138 balls with 18 fours and a six, ar­riv­ing with South Africa on 93-5 and in a pre­car­i­ous po­si­tion in their sec­ond in­nings and de­part­ing at 302-8 and in com­plete con­trol. South Africa were even­tu­ally all out for 303.

De Kock l ooked as­sured through­out his in­nings, save for a few ner­vous mo­ments when he was on 99 and couldn’t find the sin­gle for his fourth Test cen­tury and first in two years. After a cou­ple of aborted runs with bat­ting part­ner Kag­iso Rabada, he got one through and was cele- brat­ing as he ran down the pitch, down on one knee and punch­ing the air. De Kock’s part­ner­ship ear­lier with Hashim Amla, who made 71, put South Africa back on track after los­ing five wick­ets for less than 100 runs. They stood firm to put on 102 for the sixth wicket and dig the Proteas out of trou­ble. De Kock put on an­other 79 with Rabada be­fore fall­ing to a pull in the deep off legspin­ner Shadab Khan.

Pak­istan’s bowlers had a tough day, with Shadab and Fa­heem Ashraf even­tu­ally tak­ing three wick­ets each.

Pak­istan’s open­ing batsmen were pos­i­tive in the seven overs they faced be­fore tea, though, giv­ing it a glim­mer of hope. Imam-ul-haq was 18 not out off 21 with three fours and Shan Ma­sood 16 not out. There have only been three fourth-in­nings to­tals of 300 or more in more than 60 years at the Wan­der­ers.

AP

South Africa's Quin­ton de Kock (left) cel­e­brates his fourth Test cen­tury with Kag­iso Rabada, at the Wan­der­ers against Pak­istan.

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