The Sunday Independent - - INDEPENDENT -


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

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