South Africa vs Pak­istan Day 3 plays of the day

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THE MIGHTY HASH

His fu­ture was in doubt ahead of this se­ries;his scor­ing not as prodi­gious as in his pomp. But you ask his team­mates if they want him to re­tire … In the first Test on a dif­fi­cult pitch, his un­beaten 63 took the side to vic­tory and in this match he held the sec­ond in­nings to­gether on Satur­day evening as Pak­istan’s bowlers fought with ev­ery sinew to pull their side back into the game. He scored 71, took 224 min­utes to do so and faced 144 balls.

There’s a lot of Test cricket still left in Hashim Amla.

SWITCH STEYN

Dale Steyn’s stun­ning spell of 6/8 against Pak­istan in 2013 took place from the Golf Course End. Per­haps, un­der­stand­ably, that was still in his head this week. In the first in­nings he bowled 12 overs from that end, and he’d have had suc­cess had his team­mates caught the damn ball.

His first five overs yes­ter­day were also de­liv­ered from the north­ern end of the ground in Pak­istan’s sec­ond in­nings. Then he was switched to the Cor­lett Drive End, and like a hol­i­day, that change worked. With his fourth ball Steyn re­moved Imam with a peach, with his 18th he had Shan Ma­sood caught be­hind. That spell even­tu­ally fin­ished: 5-1-11-2.

AZHAR ALI

He’s the man tasked with step­ping into the rather big shoes of You­nis Khan and when he ar­rived here he av­er­aged over 44 sug­gest­ing he was ca­pa­ble fill­ing that leg­end’s spot. How­ever it’s been a chas­ten­ing ex­pe­ri­ence for the stylish right han­der. He was bombed out again by Duane Olivier yes­ter­day, the fourth time he’s lost his wicket to the Proteas’ ‘en­forcer.’

Azhar has scored 59 runs in the se­ries for an av­er­age of 9.83. HANG­OVER

That’s what the Wan­der­ers felt like yes­ter­day after the party that was Satur­day. Even the ir­ri­tat­ing band, paid to make a noise, could barely rouse it­self. Quin­ton de Kock and Steyn woke them up in the af­ter­noon, but the headaches were un­der­stand­able.

Satur­day’s at­mos­phere was among the best seen at this ground for many a year.

DAY 4

No re­ally, a gen­uine fourth day’s play in this se­ries. New­lands fin­ished on the fourth morn­ing but that game should have fin­ished the Satur­day evening. Cen­tu­rion was over mid­way through the third day. South Africa re­main firm favourites to win with only seven wick­ets to get.

But as a fa­mous com­men­ta­tor once said:“stranger things have hap­pened”.

QUOTE

“I was a bit pumped up when I scored a hun­dred, be­cause it was frus­trat­ing not scor­ing one in two years.”– Quin­ton de Kock on the rea­sons for his an­i­mated cel­e­bra­tions after notch­ing up a fourth Test hun­dred yes­ter­day.

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