Pakistan v South Africa, 1st Test, Dubai, 4th day November 15, 2010

Pakistan fight but South Africa on course for victory


Pakistan 248 and 109 for 2 (Azhar 37*, Younis 11*) need 342 more runs to beat South Africa 380 and 318 for 2 dec (Amla 118*, Kallis 135*)
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

South Africa will be confident of taking a series lead on the final day in Dubai after setting Pakistan a huge 451 then extracting two wickets during a hard-working final session. Jacques Kallis and Hashim Amla laid the platform with methodical centuries in an unbroken 242-run stand which left Pakistan needing to bat 131 overs for safety. Although they didn't fold under the evening sunset surviving an entire day is a major task for a brittle batting line-up.

Azhar Ali again showed commendable stickability at the crease and his early performances in Test cricket suggest he has the temperament for a long rearguard, but he could struggle on the final day after a painful blow on the thumb from Dale Steyn in the penultimate over. It will have to be down to him, Younis Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq to do the bulk of the match-saving because the rest don't offer much encouragement.

The loss of one wicket before the close would have been acceptable for Pakistan, but Taufeeq Umar drove loosely at Johan Botha to give Kallis a sharp catch at slip having defied 92 balls. It was a poor choice from Taufeeq - driving out of the footmarks - because Botha has been the most dangerous spinner on show in the game, able to extract more bounce than the others. Botha and Paul Harris will expect a lot of work on the final day with an aim to string together maidens and test the batsmen's concentration.

South Africa, though, will be concerned about the fitness of Steyn after the fast bowler needed treatment on the boundary edge for a problem with his arm. He made the first breakthrough when Mohammad Hafeez, after a positive 34, was caught at first slip and he didn't appear greatly hindered initially but was clearly grimacing later in the session. Fears were partly allayed when Steyn returned late in the day and produced the fearsome bouncer that Azhar gloved over slip but his bowling arm was heavily strapped.

South Africa had delayed their declaration until 40 minutes before tea which was on the conservative side but that is the way they play their cricket. There was nothing in recent history to suggest Pakistan had a chance of chasing anything significant in the fourth innings and if time becomes tight at the end Graeme Smith may wonder if he needed to bat on.

Kallis and Amla had eased along to an unbroken stand of 242, South Africa's second-highest for any wicket against Pakistan. Kallis' hundred was the 36th of a mighty career - and included four sixes, the most he has hit in a Test innings since 2005 - while Amla's was number 11 for an increasingly prolific batsman. As a partnership they were as remorseless as batting can become, even if many of the runs were easy pickings.

The match was already getting out of Pakistan's reach when play started, but when they failed to break through in the first 20 minutes it became a waiting game as South Africa piled on the runs. Misbah soon set his field back, abandoning all pretence of taking wickets, and tried to slow the scoring. Ironically, one of their best chances to strike came when Kallis edged a Saeed Ajmal doosra through the vacant slip area - but the lead was already at 350.

Kallis was the aggressor during the first session and signalled his positive intent by launching his first ball of the day, from Ajmal, over the sightscreen. It was a moment that took everyone by surprise and for the rest of the first hour he was content to work the ball around. After drinks, he briefly cut loose with 16 coming off another Ajmal over when Kallis cracked him straight for another six and then slog-swept over midwicket.

Amla continued his wonderful form with an innings full of stylish touches. He opened his account for the day with a crisp back-foot drive off Umar Gul, and then rocked back to pull him through midwicket. His second fifty of the match came from 104 balls, although he was fortunate to survive an lbw appeal against Ajmal on 58, off a delivery that would have hit leg stump.

The pair paced each other through the 90s and Amla won the race to three figures, reaching his ton off 190 balls, before Kallis joined him there in the next over, from 185 deliveries. As the partnership pushed on Pakistan became increasingly ragged in the field, with Gul dropping Kallis at deep square-leg on 124, but their ambitions had long-since become trying to deny South Africa a win. If they manage that on the final day it will feel like a victory.

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on November 16, 2010, 8:14 GMT

    Younis Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq to do the Best At the Secend Session To Take Up The Pakistan... If They Batted Hard Then Sure Pakistan Win this Game Or To Draw.. Saouth Africa Needss Only Wickets To Win This Game... So The Second Session Is Very Very Important For Both the Teams Lets See ...

  • diren on November 16, 2010, 6:26 GMT

    Simon Jessup you dont know what you are talking about. India couldnt beat SA in India on their slow spinning pithes . Sa and Dale steyn destroyed India with their pace.....there is no doubt SA is the best team in the world.....and shovwar is correct if SA find a attacking spinner they would be invincible

  • Jawwad on November 16, 2010, 6:02 GMT

    I am beginning to wonder if PCB is now in the side business of selling Test caps. Dollar 5 thousand is generally a going rate for poor Pakistanis.

  • Shulz Van on November 15, 2010, 22:43 GMT

    @SurlyCynic i think SIMON JESSUP jus duzn kno wut he's talkin to India in India....last 2 series in India were draws...N SA never had spin as their strenght...its pace they operate wit...they dont need a great spinner....they drew series in India wit their pace...the ran down Indian Batting line up in some games their...2 things SA wudn lose away and they dont need a great spinner if they do find 1 ..they ll b invincible..and the last time they lost to Aus was 2 yrs ago against a better Aussie side then now and jus after they did the impossible...Beating OZs in one did it

  • Ahmed on November 15, 2010, 22:18 GMT

    @ Pablo123 ......LISTEN UP YOU MR. PABLO123!!!!!...... im afarid you are right! =p

  • Dummy4 on November 15, 2010, 21:45 GMT

    Tough ask for Pakistan, but I would like them to fight it out as long as possible rather than surrender meekly, like they did in the first innings.

  • des on November 15, 2010, 20:57 GMT

    Simon Jessup: SA did not play Aus 'this year'. They did play India in India, where India came back to draw the series so not sure how you arrived at your 'predictions'.

  • shahid on November 15, 2010, 20:32 GMT

    TAUFIQ AND HAFIZ are not better than all the other low class opners. they did score some runs here but try to put them on recent English wickets or the last Australian and NZ series and you will find them in the same class as the parchi man. Akmals dont need a job as they have Mazhar Majid and other bookies to work for. Elder Akmal and Shoaib are the frontmen for what has been going on in Pak team for a while now. Younis Khan was the only man to captain this team, whom the nation considered honest but Akmals and Malik combined hands with bookies to remove them and at last with the prevailing situation and threats from bookies left younis resigning from captaincy. Pakistan Team needs a new start with new faces like Azhar, Naved Yasin and Asad Shafiq with Younis Khan to lead them. BUT nothing can be changed untill corrupts in the board are done with before anything else.

  • Dummy4 on November 15, 2010, 19:59 GMT

    pak gonna loose this game.they never achieved that much target..they cant make runs on batting track.our bowling is weak as well.i am sure we will not show a good show in worldcup..SA is way better side.azhar ali is good batter.but he is very slow even on batting track.its not worthy to score 50 runs on almost 200 balls.i know its test cricket.but you must not play for your will lead towards draw.

  • Dummy4 on November 15, 2010, 19:55 GMT

    why taufeeq umer is in the team? imran farhat and taufeeq umer have got many chances but they fail every sinlge time..since 10 years they are in and out...soon ijazz butt gonna join the team. waqar, waseem, saeed anwar, miandad will come back hope so..ijaz butt is ruining pak circket.everybody is against him..he is such a shameless man.he will not give up..same as zardari...he is zardari of pak

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