OF THE DAY
DROPS: By morning drinks, the Proteas, the team of Rhodes, Gibbs and other great catchers like Kallis and McMillan, had dropped not one, not two, not even three, but four catches. FOUR. Ottis Gibson was seething in that cool way of his – he shook his head. A fifth missed catch came two balls after lunch, two of them were easy (Bavuma and De Bruyn), the other hard, but the players would reckon they’d take them. Coupled with a missed stumping, a couple of overthrows that gave Sarfraz a pair of ‘fives’
BUGS: Two years ago it was bees that halted play in the Pink ODI with Sri Lanka. Yesterday bugs, miggies, gnats, call ‘em what you will, they had West Indies umpire Joel Wilson throwing his hands about. The same went for the Pakistan players, most notably skipper Sarfraz and quick bowler Hasan Ali. The only one not inhibited by the bugs was the ever cool Hashim Amla.
SARFRAZ: Besides his boisterous innings of 50 off 40 balls, the Pakistan captain has had an excellent game behind the stumps. To the five wickets catches he held in the first innings – a record for a Pakistani keeper against the Proteas – he took three more yesterday and now holds the record for the most catches by a Pakistan wicketkeeper in a Test against SA. It included a couple of good ones too – a full length dive to his right to end Markram’s innings and a sharp grab after Bavuma edged a lovely leg-break from Shadab
SHADES: Amla didn’t take too kindly to Hasan deciding to ease his bug problem by donning sunglasses when he bowled at the Golf Course End. Amla caressed two drives through the cover region off consecutive balls and when given out lbw by umpire S.Ravi, quickly reviewed, with a thick inside edge seeing that decision overturned.
PITCH: Okay, it was expected that it would quicken up and help the strokemakers. It did quicken up, but it also produced inconsistent bounce – balls spitting off a length and other keeping low. It’s not in the category of dangerous – but that really shouldn’t be happening so early in a Test match. The fourth innings will not be a picnic.
QUOTE: “No, no, it was okay, but we are still bowling in patches.” – Sarfraz is still not happy with his bowling. His bowlers, as Amir intimated on Friday, aren’t happy with his public utterances, and aren’t happy with him. It’s going swimmingly in the touring camp. | Stuart Hess