South Africa v Pakistan, 2nd Test, Cape Town, 3rd day

Peterson's career-best evens up match

The Report by Siddarth Ravindran

February 16, 2013

Comments: 169 | Text size: A | A

Pakistan 338 and 100 for 3 lead South Africa 326 (Peterson 84, de Villiers 61, Ajmal 6-96) by 112 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details


Robin Peterson made his highest Test score to bring South Africa back in the game, South Africa v Pakistan, 2nd Test, Cape Town, 3rd day, February 16, 2013
Robin Peterson slammed 84 to cut into Pakistan's first-innings lead © Getty Images
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A fascinating Test in Cape Town provided its third day of unexpected twists as the man who was the weak link for South Africa on the first day made amends with his first Test half-century in almost a decade to even up the contest. Robin Peterson hadn't been able to stem the runs when Pakistan were batting on the second day, but on the third it was Pakistan who couldn't stop the runs when Peterson was batting. With AB de Villiers also scoring a half-century, South Africa showed their resilience as what could have been a game-deciding lead for Pakistan was trimmed to just 12.

In their second innings, Pakistan's top order once again folded cheaply and South Africa were threatening to run away with the game. However, they were thwarted by a patient partnership between Azhar Ali and Misbah-ul-Haq in the final hour-and-a-half before stumps to leave the match evenly poised. The day ended with a bit of bad news for the hosts, as Morne Morkel sustained a leg injury. He is unlikely to bowl again in this Test.

In the morning, de Villiers had survived another intense examination from the outstanding Saeed Ajmal to play an innings that married classical drives and cuts with chutzpah, as shown by an inventive dink over the slips for four when the ball was banged in short. He reached his half-century off a rare poor ball down the leg side from Ajmal, and if he was beginning to feel comfortable in the middle, Ajmal followed up with a ripping delivery similar to the one that accounted for Faf du Plessis. De Villiers got the edge again but the keeper couldn't hold on to the catch.

Ajmal had begun the day by adding Dean Elgar's wicket to make it six out of six and briefly raised visions of him joining the elite club of Jim Laker and Anil Kumble as the only bowlers to take all ten wickets in an innings. Thoughts of that spectacular feat came to an end when the seven-footer Mohammad Irfan struck with the new ball to dismiss de Villiers for his first Test wicket. He then showed that even in the intense battle of Test cricket there is space for levity, as the towering fast bowler raised his arms in celebration after his team-mates huddled around him, forcing them to jump to high-five him.

Pakistan could have taken total control of the match once de Villiers was dismissed but Peterson again showed how much his batting has improved. He swept Ajmal when the ball was on the pads, cut powerfully when width was provided, and generally began to look more and more settled in the middle. With the help of Vernon Philander, he brought the deficit below 100 before lunch.

Peterson had just begun, though, and opened out after the break with a series of drives as 77 runs came off 13 overs. Besides the scorching drives, there was even a switch-hit off Ajmal. As the score went past 300, Peterson set his sights on a maiden hundred, going for his shots even as he lost his partners. The crowd loved it, and when last man Morne Morkel solidly defended a few deliveries, the fans welcomed it with rousing cheers. Peterson finally perished on 84 as he looked to clear long-on, though he had already done enough to hurt Pakistan by then.

The turnaround continued when South Africa had the ball in hand as, yet again, they removed both openers cheaply. Pakistan's opening stands this series now read 0, 10, 7 and 9. Steyn struck in his first over, with an indipper that had Mohammad Hafeez lbw. Philander joined in with a wicket in his first over, sending back Nasir Jamshed lbw for a duck. Though South Africa's quicks kept asking questions around off stump, Younis Khan and Ali negotiated the new ball till tea. A pumped-up Steyn then delivered the quickest spell of the match, regularly threatening to hit the 150kph mark, and it culminated with him getting Younis to chop on to the stumps.

While the second session was full of runs, the third was the opposite. Ali began with a boundary past square leg that took him to 23 off 23 balls, but he then went into a shell, especially against Peterson, playing out maiden after maiden. He couldn't work the singles, at one stage had managed only five runs off 53 deliveries against Peterson, and just survived a confident lbw appeal.

At the other end, Misbah wasn't in any hurry either, and the pair went through 34 scoreless deliveries early on in their partnership. Misbah was patient as ever, except when he pulled off three of those out-of-the-blue straight sixes he loves to hit.

Many times, the strategy to just block everything against a high-quality attack doesn't work because the lack of runs means the pressure isn't lifted, and when there is a breakthrough, the batting side hasn't made much progress. It worked for Pakistan on the day, though, as it sucked the momentum from a rampant South Africa attack, and steadily increased the lead above 100, setting up an intriguing fourth day.

Siddarth Ravindran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by RichardW on (February 17, 2013, 11:29 GMT)

It is quite simple really. Look at the bowlers who played over a sustained period at the same time as Wasim and compare their statistics, he certainly does not stand out. Then look at the bowlers who have played for a sustained period over the last 8 years and compare them to Dale Steyn. You don't need to be a genius to see that he stands out as something special. In an era where everything seems to be favouring the batsmen, his record is phenomenal.

Posted by crashed on (February 17, 2013, 11:08 GMT)

@Asif241 as far as my knowledge goes on test cricket a ball can only be replaced by another ball that is more or less similar in age and condition - too much is made out of something that happens all the time in cricket - i believe the old ball or the replaced ball must be shown to batsman/fielding team alike i do not know the rules but there is some guidelines to do it and i am sure the umpires did it the way it is intended to be done. Who asked for the ball change - SA or Pakistan or the umpires themselves all i know it has been changed. A changed ball could help either bowling team or a batting team there is no way to tell b4 the change what will happen thereafter or which team will benefit.

Posted by Smahuta on (February 17, 2013, 10:59 GMT)

@Asif241 LOL mate, catcha clue, the ball is changed for one around the same age/condition, the old one was deemed unfit to bowl with due to it changing shape. Pak can do the same thing if their ball goes out of shape. There is nothing to protest about.

Posted by Asif241 on (February 17, 2013, 10:42 GMT)

"Pakistan 152/7 65.1 overs game set match and series to SA who said the old ball does not learn a few tricks? lol"

Actually ball was changed after the 58th over by the umpires by claiming it has lost shape...the relatively new ball started to seem and created problems for Pakistani batsman, I dont know why the Pakistani didnt protest!

Now even these tailenders survive for the next 8-10 overs, the proteas will get another new ball due after 80 overs!

Posted by Smahuta on (February 17, 2013, 10:40 GMT)

And who said SA cannot bowl with the old ball? 99% of Pakistan supporters, time to eat some humble pie I reckon. Philly has been outstanding with the old ball, so much in fact he might as well have had the new cherry in his hands! 2 wickets left for Pak in this match and they may not even get to the new ball now.

Posted by Soso_killer on (February 17, 2013, 10:36 GMT)

Philander is useless with the "old ball". He has 4 wickets and 9 in this match. He's definately a "green" track bully.

Posted by Klgn on (February 17, 2013, 10:25 GMT)

Pakistan showed mind less power once again with their collapse. Rameez was too early to recognize pakistan at driving seat!!!!!

Posted by crashed on (February 17, 2013, 10:14 GMT)

Pakistan 152/7 65.1 overs game set match and series to SA who said the old ball does not learn a few tricks? lol

Posted by   on (February 17, 2013, 9:20 GMT)

PCB must realize about the failure of pak capatin. he is nt capable of playing a match wining inning now. like in ind tour ( last odi ) he trown his wicket on a loose deivery playing a no shot , and today again he played a wastles shot and put pakistan in great touble. Another thing is a bad wicket keeping , sarfaraz gave so many bye runs and droped a catch also . Pak should try with NEW Talent like MUhammad nawaz and also adnan akmal is a good choice .

Posted by   on (February 17, 2013, 8:16 GMT)

Go Azhar and Misbaah... keep traumatising proteas bowlers like this, Morkel gone, just two more fishes to catch ;)

Posted by SOLYPK on (February 17, 2013, 8:13 GMT)

I think 4th Inning will be heart breaking inning let's see who is gonna to win, well wishes for South Africa SOLY PAKISTAN

Posted by   on (February 17, 2013, 7:40 GMT)

What contrast bowling attacks both teams are having. South African bowlers are dangerous with the new ball and Saeed Ajmal is difficult with the old ball. If Pakistani openers are unable to play new ball then South African will struggle against the old ball in the hands of Ajmal and Hafeez.

Posted by   on (February 17, 2013, 7:33 GMT)

first of all u guys who are comparing steyn with wasim and waqar and macgrath are absolutely wrong . steyn no doubt is a fantastic bowler with pace and swing but he is at his deadly dangerous only with the new ball when ball gets old he loses the plot a bit and fails to trouble the batsmen that much now let me tell u guys if u dont know that wasim and waqar were deadly dangerous both with new and old balls and mcgrath was a genious who just kept on bowling right areas and gotwickets with the old ball as well. steyn doesnt posses the kind of reverse which waqar and wasim had!! but yes steyn's conventional swing with pace with the new ball is awsome probably the best new ball bowler along with asif!! asif similarly liek steyn wasntgood with old ball but was deadly with new ball. so calling steyn better than wasim and waqar and mcgrath is a bit too much.

Posted by mzm149 on (February 17, 2013, 7:09 GMT)

@ArmChairUmpire: I completely agree with your post. I would like to add that Pakistan badly needs a wicket keeper batsman like Sangakkara, de Villiers, Dhoni, Prior and McCullum. There is also lack of fast bowling allrounders in the team. They should definitely find new talent. Currently, they have Hammad Azam but they should groom him and give him chances to play.

Posted by   on (February 17, 2013, 7:02 GMT)

a very well brave effort 4m pakistan nd surely they tested the souuth africans in their back yard ultimately the so called no "1" team lived up to it once again

Posted by HennopsRiverEnd on (February 17, 2013, 6:32 GMT)

Proteas in huge trouble here, any lead of 220+ will be very hard to chase down. We need to make inroads very early in the morning to stay in the game. Still want Imran back in the team.

Posted by   on (February 17, 2013, 6:31 GMT)

Pakistan have to be firm favorites to win this match. 100+ lead with only 3 down, Morkel unlikely to bowl again, deteriorating wicket, etc..

Posted by   on (February 17, 2013, 6:25 GMT)

It is strange, everyone is talking about Kallis dismissal but no one is talking about Philander wicket by Irfan on a legal delivery which was declared No Ball.

Posted by LahoriLion009 on (February 17, 2013, 6:09 GMT)

@dmqi same is the case with me i also cant sleep well last night just thinking about day 4 and 5 but i am in Pakistan than Washington.............i think both we and cricket is CRAZY.........

Posted by dmqi on (February 17, 2013, 5:22 GMT)

Absorbing test cricket, I saw all late night from 3:30am Washington DC time. SA was able to scape from 139 for 5 to 320 plus, that shows how good they are in test. Pak has a chance IF there batting works first two sessions on day 4 and then Ajmal and Pak fielders can work together. If Pak can win this match it will be a wonderful performance against the best team in the world. But SA is the #1, so they might take the win away from Pak in any one session. Waiting for day 4 and 5. I can not sleep well from 10 pm to 3 pm, crazy cricket or crazy me?

Posted by   on (February 17, 2013, 5:01 GMT)

We have seen in first two tests that as the ball gets after 18-20 overs, it becomes easier to score against this south african line up. what pakistan should look to do is to keep maximum wickets intact and score as much as possible against the older ball. For that to happen they should bring one of the more aggressive batsmen in haffeez and jamshed into the middle order and send blocker like azhar ali to open. If I was misbah: I will send the batting order as: hafeez. azhar. misbah. jamshed. yunus. azhar. sarfraz. gul. junaid. irfan. ajmal. As far as ongoing test is concerned: this is the peak of test cricket; both very talented teams playing upto their potentials on a pitch that has help for everything and the match swinging from one team to another after every session. Let us hope they will continue to play this way and keep entertaining us!!!

Posted by crashed on (February 17, 2013, 4:52 GMT)

if SA get Pakistan out b4 lunch SA will win however if not and Pakistan still bat around tea will they declare and try to get SA all out?? - if not b4 tea then when - if they wait too long they will end up in a draw with no chance of winning - Misbah sit with a dilemma when to declare if SA fail to get them out - Adelaide comes to mind - it will be hard to get 10 more SA wickets if they do not have time nor runs on the board to back it up

Posted by   on (February 17, 2013, 4:34 GMT)

INSHALLAH pak will win this test.i think series 1-1

Posted by mkamd on (February 17, 2013, 4:34 GMT)

Dunno what will be a winning score but pitch seems uneven bounce so fourth day 200 will be difficult,,..

Posted by   on (February 17, 2013, 4:02 GMT)

Another 100 and Pakistan have this match.

Posted by sirvivfan on (February 17, 2013, 3:36 GMT)

Discussion are taking place as to such and such bowlers are better....very difficult to compare unless they play same time in same conditions. It is futile to compare Steyn wasim and waquar, Shoib, Imran and others! All I can say is that they are all great. You cannot compare wasim directly with stey one is right arm he other is a left!! However can you imagine wasim and waqar playing half of their career in South African conditions.! Equally can you imagine Kallis batting half of his games in India!! He will average 100+. Riaz pak

Posted by sirvivfan on (February 17, 2013, 3:28 GMT)

If only catches were held.....yet already it shows how good Pak team can be.....still not convinced they have the right com I nations. This comes from playing lot of int cricket....sadly that is what Pak is suffering from. If Rehamn was included it would have been a match winning combination. All the time remember SA are world champions not on some calculation but on performance. Not like previous holders. So Pak should be happy. Shame thru cannot play more cricket....perhaps PCB should ask SA CB to arrange more games in SA ... That way Pak standard will improve. My second favourite side has been SA and have watched their series in SA and overseas...I love watching them. Riaz Pak supporter.

Posted by   on (February 17, 2013, 2:31 GMT)

LET THEM OFF THE HOOK ! Dropped catches will probably have a direct bearing on final result . Dropping A.B. "twice" (cardinal sin) opened the door for Proteas and what would have been a "match winning lead" was eroded to just 12. The pitch has considerably deteriorated - uneven bounce, ball jumping/turning from foot marks. Its gonna be an one helluva task for Proteas to chase 275 - 300 in 4th inning !

Posted by getsetgopk on (February 17, 2013, 2:23 GMT)

oayaz01: Spot on mate, I dont know whats the reason but it seems a norm to give 4 or 5 decisions against Pakistan in a match. Each and every match and you can easily count half a dozen decisions going against Pakistan. Now that we have DRS, they have started shouting no balls in advance before Pak can bring in DRS, then the batsman will say I heard the shout and went after the ball. Aleem Dar and Asad RAuf should take a note of these Aussie umpires, there is no such thing as fair play.

Posted by   on (February 17, 2013, 2:19 GMT)

250 + target and Pakistan will win the test match

Posted by getsetgopk on (February 17, 2013, 2:07 GMT)

I think the pitch wasn't the same as it was on the 2nd day. It doesn't seem to have the same grip and bite as it had on the 2nd day. This pitch is one that improves for batting and time passes and by that i mean the ball is coming quicker through pitch, its not stopping and hence the batsmen can play their strokes, there is uneven bounce though. A target of around 300 is a must for Pak to win this game.

Posted by CrickFans007 on (February 17, 2013, 2:03 GMT)

After new ball(20overs) SA bowling attack = Zimbabwe Bowling attack What they will do on flat wickets. I dont put them in top world class bowlers list like Wasim,Shoib, Mcgrath etc. According to Shoib Akhter Phillender is an overrated bowler and he is an ordinary bowler on flat or with OLd bowl. We have seen that in both test. Pak need 280+ if they want to win. Please push Hafiz on 4th place and Azhar can open an inning in next test.

Posted by   on (February 17, 2013, 1:44 GMT)

I have a feeling that misbah will play a vital inning,he is over due to score a big hundred.Pakistan's point of view is simple that they hv to not only survive but also made some quick runs.Wicket still playing fine.Considering sa already 1-0 in the series,pressure is on pak to ask questions to SA batsmen in their second innings and that can only happen if u give sawed Ajmal and co some runs to play with.anything around 280 will be good even better if 300.

Posted by Mob_King on (February 17, 2013, 1:42 GMT)

This sounds like an absolute cracker of a Test match and I wish I'd been following the whole thing. Advantage swinging back and forth like a pendulum.

Posted by alcapoon on (February 17, 2013, 1:36 GMT)

I don't think 200 is a good enough score for Pakistan to defend. All it needs is a couple of good partnerships and SA are more then capable of that. Pakistan have to decide in the morning that what's the safe score for them to make sure they will not lose the match and still give them enough time to attach. Probably if Pakistan can bat for 70 overs and score at 3+ runs/over that will get the score close to 350 and they will have 110 overs to bowled SA. Easier said then done.

Posted by   on (February 17, 2013, 1:35 GMT)

Pakistan will sorely miss abdur rehman. While ajmal is great and all, he lacks the consistency and extreme turn that rehman can get especially on these pitches.

When England were bowled out for 72 it was via abdur rehman not Ajmal's brilliance.

I personally think Tanvir Ahmad should replace one of our 'batsmen' and come in as an all rounder (his bowling is really ineffective) and then abdur rehman in as well.

Posted by Harmony111 on (February 17, 2013, 0:48 GMT)

Well I get a feeling Pak will win this test match. Pak are currently leading by 112 runs with 7 wickets in hand. Unless they collapse spectacularly tomorrow they should be able to add another 150 runs at least. This would mean a target of 270+ to SA in the 4th innings. Batting in 4th innings is never easy and besides a target of that order usually turns out to be a winning one. Even if a team wins by chasing 260-270 it is always done in a tense situation and with some great batting. Ajmal will be a major threat in the 4th innings and Prof can come in too. Misbah would be cursing himself for not picking Rehman and for picking Tanvir. IF Pak can get Amla and Kallis cheaply then they would win for sure cos no one else in that team will be able to play Ajmal.

My prediction: Pak give a target of 250-270 to SA, SA get a.o. for 220-230. Ajmal takes 6/50. MoM - Some Jaadugar.

Posted by ArmChairUmpire on (February 17, 2013, 0:47 GMT)

Pakistan is not a balanced team. It has players who shine but only on occasion. It is possible that the team does not play enough and hence there is no consistency in the game. On top of that there is a very large tail. The PCB must invest in young all rounders.. At the moment there an inordinate amount of dependence on Ajmal. The speedsters could do with some fine tuning. There is too much of wild bowling. What a waste go extremely good talent. Eventually, the PCB might consider finding younger Board members - individuals who have payed the gme at the international level. This comment is regardless of the result of this match.

Posted by   on (February 17, 2013, 0:35 GMT)

Saeed ajmal and irfan have done great job with the bowl in this match but i didn't understand why have hafeez do only 9 overs??

Posted by   on (February 16, 2013, 23:47 GMT)

I think Pakistan has lost the advantage after removing Elgar and AB devellior early.They did not apply enough pressure on talenders.Resulted in getting only 12 runs lead.Once again in second inning they lost the quick wicket of Hafiz and Younus because of their own mistakes.Hafiz playing across and Younus played in instead of leaving the delivery. Pakistan can get commanding position if they stayed at the wicket for first 10 overs in morning and then negotiate second new ball well.Go green you can do it.Good luck

Posted by   on (February 16, 2013, 23:41 GMT)

I have seen some poor umpiring in my time but Mr Davis has made in three days at least four bad calls. Two of his LBW not outs reviewed by Pak. were changed to OUT. Third day ...ball hits above knee roll and his finger went up ! Hawk Eye showed ball barely clipping stumps.....where is his consistency?

Posted by zarasochozarasamjho on (February 16, 2013, 23:38 GMT)

Hafeez is not a test-standard batsman to be opener in SA. He can't succeed as like most Pakistanis he cannot play with a straight bat, and hence again like most Pakistanis gets lbw. He should bat much lower down at 6 or 7. Azhar should open with Nasir, as Nasir is a more competent batsman and will come good with time.

Posted by   on (February 16, 2013, 23:24 GMT)

what a fascinating day of cricket.Everyone was thinking that pak might take alead of at least 100 If not more but certainly proteas remaing batsmen played wonderfully well.After initial burst from steyn and philander,I would say Pakistan have done well now for me 280 in the forth inns could be a good total on this wicket.i wonder what is the heighest 4th inn run chase at Cape Town.

Posted by Auri121 on (February 16, 2013, 23:23 GMT)

Pakistan's team selection proves yet again endemic nepotism which has characterized its team selection throughout its history. Selection of Faisal Iqbal (Miandad's nephew), Rahat Ali, and Tanvir Ahmed is testimony to that. Faisal Iqbal will no be selected for any game (take my word for this, as he dont have captains confidence) but is there to have nice holidays at the expense of some youngster who could have been selected with a view to be groomed for the future, likes of Umer Amin crosses my mind for one. Rahat Ali, lacks pace, movement and seemingly any desire to bend his back even in his debut game, Mr Tanvir Ahmed cant bowl more than 120kph ( I think I being 42 years old guys can still bowl faster than him!), if these guys are the future of Pakistan pace then I ask the selector to go back to the past and select the likes of Sami or Wahab Riaz, Rana Naveed-ul-Hassan who can still perform better than Rahats and Tanvirs.

Posted by Zahidsaltin on (February 16, 2013, 23:18 GMT)

The way peterson batted and slaughtered pakistani batsmen, it tells how indisciplined the pakistani bowlers were. Not taking wickets is a problem but then being able to contain a tailender is a real shame. In my opinion, Jamshed, Umar Gul and Tanveer should sit out next match. Pakistan bowling attack ( if the wicket such as this) should be, junaid, Irfan, Abdul Rehman and Saeed Ajmal. Farhat should open with Azhar Ali and Younis should follow at third, Hafeez at 4 and then Misbah and Asad.

Posted by haq33 on (February 16, 2013, 23:12 GMT)

RyanStephen your analogy is rubbish. The point being made was that if the kit is faulty, then it is reasonable to question it. So in your bails not coming off analogy, if they were glued on, then the bowler would be right to question the poor quality kit used for the game. Same way, if hotspot is faulty, then all fans around the world are right to question it and demand better. Disgusting umpiring all round and poor technology, not helped by some people who invent analogies that are just as faulty as the kit in question.

Posted by Zahidsaltin on (February 16, 2013, 23:06 GMT)

I HAVE A TECHNICAL QUESTION: if the umpires can ask a player who just got out, to stay until they check out a possibility of no ball THEN why can't they check it out when some one is jsut got out on a ball they have called as no ball.

Posted by cric-doctor on (February 16, 2013, 23:06 GMT)

PAK have to play sensible on day 4.when ever the days end they are in healthy position but next start of the morning the awful doesn't matter they are batting or bowling. Misbah is holdingthe key right now he has to attack Peterson and need to make sure they rotate the strike do not caught up in the crease.4th day 1st session is very crucial i believe who ever won this session has 75% of the match in their selves GO GREEN...........

Posted by Zahidsaltin on (February 16, 2013, 23:03 GMT)

UMPIRE mistake of calling Irfan's a noball and the dropped catches took away the lead from pakistan. It was painful to see UMAR GUL suffer one again and not being imposing on fast bowler friendly wickets. The pakistan get a pair of good opners, they will be no. 1 team of the world. IN THE 3RD match I would rather open the innings with two tailenders and hope for them to stay for 5 overs.

Posted by maria_01 on (February 16, 2013, 22:41 GMT)

its bad news for pakistan that morkel is injured.....as morkel is injured styen will bowl more overs and if steyn will bowl more then do understand what will happen tommorow.. i wish pak will win this match...but pakistanis always disappointed when they on a new day.........but lets hope for the best........

Posted by Saim93 on (February 16, 2013, 22:16 GMT)

On paper it is evenly matched but Pakistan are volatile in the early stages of the day so advantage for South Africa going in tomorrow, hopefully Pakistan can stay in control and make at least 300+

Posted by NixNixon on (February 16, 2013, 22:08 GMT)

Amazing to read all the excuses being thrown around justifying why SA is not good - apparently luck and bad fielding and bad umpires, DRS etc etc. Shocking that poeple cant just give SA credit - jealousy makes you nasty I guess

Posted by   on (February 16, 2013, 22:05 GMT)

in both the tests the majority of pak wickets have fallen in the first 20-25 overs. So the idea should be to see out the new ball. For that you need the technically correct batsmen at the top so azhar ali should be opening with jamshed and misbah at three. The runs flow after 20-25 overs and hafeez younus and asad shafiq are all stroke players who can do well against the old ball. That would be one way to counter south africa. Younus is being wasted and when the old ball comes guys like azhar and misbah can either block or score boundaries and waste a lot of balls. Then the second new ball comes and they lose their wicket. This is not right if they want to win

Posted by   on (February 16, 2013, 21:44 GMT)

So Pakistan come to challenge the no1 team in their own backyard get hammered first up then dust themselves off and hit back hard at the saffas putting them in all sorts of trouble before as a champion team does the Saffas fight back in what is turning out to be a facinating test series and people want to ignore this and go on an on about how steyn is overated and comparing him to players who will never grace a field again ? absolute pointless! there is not a team in world cricket at the moment that would not benefit from Steyn in their ranks anyone who denies this is delusional. As for the match hope the Saffas clean up Pakistan for less than 200 otherwise we are going really be struggling

Posted by Beertjie on (February 16, 2013, 21:20 GMT)

Just to pick up on your comment @dontlikecricket on (February 16, 2013, 20:47 GMT): "PAK should ask Azhar to open afterall he is an opener by trade." That is quite correct. Can't they see Hafeez is no opener? Why not rejig the batting order for the next test: Azhar, Jamshed, Younis, Misbah, Hafeez, Shafiq. It would be worth replacing Sarfaraz too. Can't he be "injured"? If Pak take all chances offered in the SA second innings no target will be too small (but this is too big an IF).

Posted by 37c. on (February 16, 2013, 21:10 GMT)

I'm tempted to call this a "soon-to-be" great match - if it goes to the last day and last session. As a neutral observer (English), I think the Pakistanis have held off the South Africans with one player, Ajmal. And because their fielding has improved drastically in the past few years. They're not like the South African giants yet, but with a bit of grit, some lucky moments, decisions that go their way, they might pull off a win. Meanwhile, it's also good to watch great bowlers who don't need to break stumps in their run-ups and distract batsmen that way. Really, the South Africans have put on a great show

Posted by mithse89 on (February 16, 2013, 21:03 GMT)

@Solid_Snake mate you need to get your numbers right before commenting on any site.. Akram: Avg 23.62, SR 54.6, STEYN: Avg 22.67, SR 40.8. Don't know who was pacier or swung the ball more, but the no.s prove Steyn is far more effective.. And before some ill informed person starts the whole sub continent issue let me tell that he has taken 15 wickets in India at an Avg of 20.20 in Indai..

Posted by 37c. on (February 16, 2013, 20:56 GMT)

Just wondering if a side can use DRS on a no-ball, like on Mo Irfan's ct behind? But that's besides the point - the point being that if Misbah and Azhar can hold on to lunch, keep the runs tricking through, then the match is back to even. Even without Morne, the South Africans look sharp though - I certainly wouldn't want to be facing Dale Steyn first thing in the morning. Sleep well boys ...

Posted by   on (February 16, 2013, 20:52 GMT)

cricket at its best..... whoever wins ,,,, in the end cricket will become the winner... 3 days of this test had everything in it... deadly fast bowling ,,, class of batsmans ,,,, magic of ajmal ,,,, tails fight ,,,, and all the turn arounds that are required for an evenly poised game on end of day3,,, expecting fascinating cricket for next two days as well but the morning session of day4 will be most crucial but not the decider ,,,, let,s not forget that England just needed around 140 to win 2nd test at abu dhabi but the magician made it impossible and all England playres left the stadium for just scoring 72. anything is possible in Cricket....

Posted by dontlikecricket on (February 16, 2013, 20:47 GMT)

Interesting test match of a high quality, thats how to describe this match so far. PAK should try to get to 200 with the old ball and may be more if possible but should not risk it by poor batting (unlikley though with Misbah and Azhar). I am not sure what's the good score but anyting over 200 will be testing and 250 plus will be a good challenge in the 4th innings. Forget about 300 plus, it's very unlikely (although this PAK team continues to surprise me) If wicket gets even slightly spin friendly then PAK will have a good chance to win. I think PAK should ask Azhar to open afterall he is an opener by trade. SA has shown why they are good with quality fast bowling and depth in their batting. Not sure about some comment about Steyn better than Akram. Bowlers like Akram,Waqar, Ambrose, Walsh etc use to take batting line apart even on dead wickets.

Posted by   on (February 16, 2013, 20:44 GMT)

If Pakistan able to add 300 runs till 2nd session, then the last day will be more challenging for SA to tackle magician Saeed Ajmal.

Posted by HonestObserver on (February 16, 2013, 20:43 GMT)

The biggest Disappointment for me was the performance of umar gul,effectively Pakistan has been playing with only one Bowler, that is Ajmal , you cannot win Test matches just with one bowler ,everybody's blaming pakistani batting ,but I'm not sure about this Pakistani bowling attack especially the seamers...

Posted by   on (February 16, 2013, 20:41 GMT)

what a game of test cricket. so many ups n downs for both the teams and still can't say whose game is this even after finishing three fantastic days. But one thing is for sure Pak is giving tough time to world no. 1 with their fighting spirit.

Posted by riz309 on (February 16, 2013, 20:12 GMT)

@smahuta good bowlers know how to do some reverse swing need some knowledge you know how,not only to bowel with a nice shiny cherry and get trotted around the ball park each time the ball gets a bit roughen up,no wonder why you talking about 600/3 you never had a high caliber spin in your doug out just stay on the non stricker end and watch it's gonna be a doosre or teesra

Posted by IAS2009 on (February 16, 2013, 20:04 GMT)

game is wide open, if pakistan get 250 lead game is in their favor, they need to be positive with the 36 overs they have with this ball. If YK were there it would be easy both msibah and azhar are not positive in batting. it will take seven balls to get paksitan out they need to make sure they score enough before those sevem wickets, there is plenty of time left and blocking will not save the game, occupy crease and score runs this deteriorate the pitch. SA will not have easy going.

Posted by Big_Chikka on (February 16, 2013, 20:03 GMT)

test cricket at its very best, tough, attritional , this game could turn out to be a pivotal test match for pakistan, good luck.

Posted by Solid_Snake on (February 16, 2013, 20:01 GMT)

@RichardW:Steyn is a great bowler no doubt..But putting him ahead of Wasim,donald & Mcgrath is a joke.What's the criteria of Comparing Steyn with other legends..Pace,Swing,SR,Avg??On what basis you are putting Steyn ahead?

Posted by Papa_Tango on (February 16, 2013, 19:53 GMT)

@smahuta: you mean good batsmen can make runs on fast wickets but fail against spin do t they? Do not denigrate the sub continent wickets by calling them dead just because the good batsmen cannot play spin. They are called spinning wickets. Just as sub continent players struggle on fast wickets, your 'good' batsmen struggle on spinning wickets.

Posted by   on (February 16, 2013, 19:50 GMT)

It all depends on how well Pakistan will field in the fourth inning.And the performance of Umar Gul and other Pakistani seamers will decide the fate of the match.

Posted by mazii on (February 16, 2013, 19:47 GMT)

Richardw... Well that's your opinion dear that Dale is better then Wasim. I think you don't any thing about fast bowling. Look at steyn's bowling when the ball gets old. Even all of the SA bowlers take wickets when the ball is new and you know better how Australia treated Steyn and co when they scored five an over through out the day. Wasim had an unplayable yorker that swings both ways in air and what to say about his deadly bouncer. Plus Wasim faced Ponting, Lara, SRT, Waughs, Kirsten, Hyden, Langer, Dravid and others when they were at their zenith. Wasim 's skills of reverse swing bowling was just phenomenal. Steyn just good with new ball, he doesn't possess yorker, a good bouncer and variations. All he wants condition and outswing with some occasional in swing. If you rate him above Wasim then sorry mate you don't anything about fast bowling. And allan donald was a good bowler but not a legend like Wasim, Marshall, Mcgrath and Ambrose.

Posted by   on (February 16, 2013, 19:33 GMT)

If PAK scores another hundred with 36 overs left with this ball and manage another 60 or 70 with new ball taken that makes it around 280. GAME ON:) anything above 280 will make PAK fav and below SA

Posted by Smahuta on (February 16, 2013, 19:28 GMT)

@ riz309 cant wait buddy. Start rolling those tracks to be dead now, hear? Although those dead tracks do make for boring viewing. 600-3 is not test cricket at its finest. Wickets like the wanders are the best imo. GOOD batsmen make runs, batsmen with poor technique cannot score. The way it should be. Tailenders are cleaned up as they should be, and the bowlers have something to work with. Im hoping that centurion will be more of the same.

Posted by yamin101 on (February 16, 2013, 19:26 GMT)

Twist, twist and again … test cricket at his best =D

Posted by Smahuta on (February 16, 2013, 19:23 GMT)

This match is dead even at the moment. IF SA can pick up another 2 quick wickets tomorrow morning then they will be odds on to win it. If pakistan can bat till lunch without losing 2 wickets (lets face their tail starts after 5 down) then they will be odds on to win. Never count SA down though, they chased 418 before to win a test match which nobody gave them a hope in hell of doing. Anything under 200 lead for Pak and they will lose, anything over 250 and they will have a great chance to even the series.

Posted by ProteaMan on (February 16, 2013, 19:19 GMT)

WOW, this is going to be a humdinger! For the interest of the series I would like Paks to win because that would put some interest in the series, but as a SA-can I would love SA to put this on the score-sheet as a win. Just a sorry that Morne seems to be ou of action. André, Cape Town

Posted by niks_smarty on (February 16, 2013, 19:12 GMT)

I am great fan of india...but here looking in to this test match.....surprisingly for me also....I want Pakistan to win......want big score tommo from pakistan batsman's...probably this SA team is just superb...so any effort to beat them will win cricket fans heart...please cricinfo publish this comment...at least for india-pakistan friendship..

Posted by   on (February 16, 2013, 19:02 GMT)

3rd Day's play unable to indicate a lead team in this Test Match. However if Pak can accumulate lead of 250+, chasing the same in 4th inning will be a tough task for SA.

Pak middle order continues to play well and Azhar Ali looks solid in defense. Openers are looking extra cautious and that they should avoid in next inning.

SA should realize by now that opponents are playing well above their expectation and this is what makes Test Cricket the Ultimate Cricket.

Posted by riz309 on (February 16, 2013, 19:02 GMT)

@perl57 your world top class battiing lineup got owned by Ajmal just keep on dreaming mate,bring your team to sub-continent and watch our spinwizzards i do understand you went to Aus and Eng and took care of them but Sl,Pak,Ind are diffrent see you there soon.

Posted by   on (February 16, 2013, 18:58 GMT)

Really SWINGKINGPIN one innings of underperforming steyn and he's not a legend? why do people always make ludicrous statements after 1 performance ???? of course Wasim who couldnt take more than 1 wickets in an innings 71 times was a legend who never had a bad performance?

Posted by RichardW on (February 16, 2013, 18:56 GMT)

Are you joking SWINGKINGSPIN? You must be if you think that Dale Steyn being a legend is a myth, he is by quite a distance the best fast bowler of the last 10 years, and is obviously better than Wasim, even without having to use a bottletop. I would put him at least on par with Allan Donald and ahead of Glenn McGrath as the top quickies since Malcolm Marshall.

Posted by   on (February 16, 2013, 18:52 GMT)

I bet Misbah is wishing that he had Abdur rehman in his bowling attack

Posted by yspal on (February 16, 2013, 18:45 GMT)

If Pakistan can bat till tea they win its as simple as that.

Posted by   on (February 16, 2013, 18:45 GMT)

Pakistan Selectors are at times makes me boil: 1. Why on earth you want to change the keeper, which has played 2-3 series with Ajmal? - Reading Ajmal is not easy for top class batsmen, a new keeper is going to struggle. They should have left Adnan Akmal alone. Plus Sarfraz batting is much worse then Adnan... 2. Why was Tanvir selected for this tour? - His bowling is embarrassment for fans, we are already shot of aggressive quality seamer... If his batting is so valuable why not pick Razaq, he is much more experienced in both department... In reality we should have pick somebody with some skill pace (Wahab comes to mind, he also bat well), control (Chemma comes to mind) but why these guys (Tanvir and Rahat), they have nothing, now we are playing with three bowlers...

One more thing that selectors must realize, Gul is not a test quality bowler, he cannot bowl three balls in a row that are good... We need a new aggressive and thinking fast bowler, Gul after 10 years is just a waste...

Posted by   on (February 16, 2013, 18:44 GMT)

either the pitch had spin but become too slow for ajmal to make huge impact today or south africa have worked out how to play against him or he was just too tired. If any of the first two assumptions is true, south africa has the match in the bag even if pak scores over 300 or a distant possibility is a draw. Pakistan failing to get a substantial lead does not matter as it all depends on whether ajmal can bamboozle south africa or not in the fourth innings. A substantial lead could have only provided pak with cover in case if they fold under 200. Going by how pitch is playing, its all about whether ajmal can repeat the magic

Posted by   on (February 16, 2013, 18:37 GMT)

UK Chap :" Philander did edge the ball, there was a clear noise on the TV, and even the commentators agreed he knicked the ball even though the useless hotspot again failed to show anything."

Lol, that's like saying "I swear I hit the stump, I even heard a noise but the useless bails never came off"

Sorry but hotspot is what they use to make decisions, so if there was no no-ball called, he still would've been given not out, so my point still stands

Posted by KarachiKid on (February 16, 2013, 18:30 GMT)

Steive Davis comes back and hits Pakistan everytime he is amongst the match officials.

Posted by   on (February 16, 2013, 18:25 GMT)

I will have to say that this wicket is far more better than the one we had at wanderers. A test match strip should provide an exciting contest for 5 days, no matter who wins, the quality of cricket being played in this match makes us watch and love the test cricket. Everything is setup for an exciting fourth day, i hope Pakistan gets at least 150 more runs to make it more exciting.

Posted by wakaPAK on (February 16, 2013, 18:23 GMT)

SA going from 109/5 to 326 does not show how great SA is... it just shows the sloppy fielding by Pak and umpiring errors... SA was ordinary in this test except for Steyn/Philander with new ball. @EddieKhan good point! it was SA vs SA (Saeed Ajmal). Irfan has been a factor in disrupting SA batsmen's rythm. Big boss deserve the credit. He's the Shahbaz.

Posted by   on (February 16, 2013, 18:21 GMT)

it was a good show through out the third day. Pakistan played well first with the ball and now are also playing well with the bat. a lil bit drama was there when the peterson was on the crease and when Pakistan were at 7/2. but now the situation is almost changed in the end of the day. one of the sad thing of the day was the injury of the morkel this would change the situation and target up to some extent but now there will be some sort of relaxation into the pavilion of Pakistan. and i think round about the 300 will be the best score and also the SA must be ready and make some special plan about the bowling attack of Pakistan.:)

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (February 16, 2013, 18:07 GMT)

Lovely to see Pakistan fight back so well after the first test; what a great contest. I'd still have the SA bowling attack down as one of my favourites, but this match and series is shaping up to be a cracker!

Posted by UK_Chap on (February 16, 2013, 17:57 GMT)

Ryan Stephen : Philander did edge the ball, there was a clear noise on the TV, and even the commentators agreed he knicked the ball even though the useless hotspot again failed to show anything. Mitcher : What are you talking about ? who whinged ? Please provide specific examples. I could easily say oh... the SAF fans are whining about Kallis`s wicket or a myriad of other things.The fans are not whingeing, they are just upset and disappointed with the way some of the play has gone. Sometimes decisions go in your favor and sometimes they don`t. People complain about umpiring errors because they hurt the most, they can and usually do alter the course of a match. Steve Davis is a very poor umpire, he has hurt Pakistan many times in other series aswell.

Posted by SWINGKINGPIN on (February 16, 2013, 17:56 GMT)

Well, at least the myth of Styne being a legend is decided once and for all - both Styne and Ajmal are excellent bowlers but they are no Wasim or Warne !! They need conditions to suit them - for Styne it was J'burg and for Ajmal here ! Such is the fans' need for a superhero :)

Posted by Spelele on (February 16, 2013, 17:52 GMT)

Don't know why my comments are not being published these days. If this one gets through, I have to say that this has been a really good test match. After the last test match ended up being far from a contest, I am so glad to see PAK finally showing what they've got. Welcome to SA guys, we've been waiting for you :)

I think PAK are ahead of SA at the moment considering that SA has to bat last. The pitch is already showing plenty of uneven bounce (although surprisingly not as much turn). I suspect that Irfan will really be dangerous in the fourth innings.

It's a pity that Morkel is injured, and SA are a bowler short. We don't want to hear excuses from fellow SA fans if PAK manage to pull through to what would be a deserved victory on a pitch which suited their style. Hoping to see some fireworks tomorrow!

Posted by Imran-Akram on (February 16, 2013, 17:44 GMT)

Sadly Pakistan is playing one bowler short in this match......can't count Tanvir as a regular bowler

Posted by   on (February 16, 2013, 17:42 GMT)

I still see the match tilted in favor of SA by 7:3 ratio. It will be a miracle if pakistani pair on batting survives the first session tomorrow. That will still make 50:50. SA would be favorite unless Pakistan ends up 350 or around ahead. Let us hope that one of them at least goes for a century. SA are a very dangerous side; equally brittle and rusty the pakistani team is. Home ground advantage for SA means Pakistan will have to fight till last. IF THEY WRENCH OUT A VICTORY IN THE SITUATION, IT WILL BE A SECOND MIRACLE OF THE MATCH!

Posted by   on (February 16, 2013, 17:35 GMT)

come on guyz this match is in favour of pakistan,as morkel is in trouble,i cant see a bowler who can be threatning with old ball,according to me best three batsman are still there,,misbah azhar and shafiq.believe me anything more then 200 will be over for south africa,,just imagine on fourth and fifth day ajmal and haafiz with a dybanic pace bowling attack,,,,be ready proteas,,,,this is best bowling unit of world.

Posted by Papa_Tango on (February 16, 2013, 17:35 GMT)

This type of match is why i watch from the United States - starting at 4 am in the morning! Test cricket at its best. The first test was disappointing but this one is so perched on the edge. Good show.

Posted by Solid_Snake on (February 16, 2013, 17:33 GMT)

@tshepo008->All the other teams failed to analyze Ajmal.How SA are gonna analyze him in a day or two when Ajmal got 6 wickets in the 1st inngs.Wicket is getting better & better for Ajmal.I just hope Pak gets to a toal of 200 plus & then my friends...Game is on...

PS->The way Pak played in this match,fans dont mind even if they lose.You just keep on fighting till the end..Winning or losing is a part of game..Fighting spirit is important..

Posted by   on (February 16, 2013, 17:32 GMT)

feast or famine famine,on one hand Misbah hits 3 sixes,on the other 30 straight dot balls,Pakistan needs to farm this inning for a winning score.

Posted by Master_uv_Puppetz on (February 16, 2013, 17:31 GMT)

Wats the use of the openers who cant play swing :( ? Wats the use of one down who cant work a spinner for a single? Wats the use of a .. bleh

Posted by pauliangenius on (February 16, 2013, 17:31 GMT)

I love Tanvir Ahmed. Because of his 44, Pak got to 338 in first place otherwise Pak would have in deficit here.

Posted by   on (February 16, 2013, 17:28 GMT)

I am an Indian but i beleive pakistan has the edge in this test match batting in 4th innings is always diddicult but SA r a good team also .... I rate it 50-50 at present... Depends on misbah n how other bowlers support ajmal

Posted by   on (February 16, 2013, 17:27 GMT)

I agree Abdul Rehman could have been a better choice! South African would be bundled out for below 200 and even to chase 170-180 in 4th innings would have been a nightmare for South Africa.

Posted by Pak_alldway on (February 16, 2013, 17:26 GMT)

same old story ball is old again and steyn and co dont know how to get wickets with old ball.so whos gona get wickets until the new ball is dew????may b smith himslef

Posted by   on (February 16, 2013, 17:26 GMT)

Still....a tough Grab for Pakistan since first session has always been a nightmare for Pakistan..

Posted by redcat on (February 16, 2013, 17:18 GMT)

Fabulous day of really tough test cricket. A day dedicated to Boucher by the Proteas....no doubt that his fighting spirit was very much in evidence today....across both teams. A salute to Bouch. Look forward to another contest tommorrow.

Posted by Mitcher on (February 16, 2013, 17:18 GMT)

I'm really keen to see Pakistan to do well. Been through so many tough times but still so exciting to watch. I just hope this emerging pattern of many of their fans taking a 'world is against us' whinging stance will taint the support from neutrals. It ain't a good look guys.

Posted by   on (February 16, 2013, 17:09 GMT)

Rehman should be selected...... Azhar S.R 33.3 i know its test but still we have to put decent total and make them out........

Posted by satti722 on (February 16, 2013, 17:07 GMT)

get 250 more runs n match is safe for pakistan

Posted by binojpeter on (February 16, 2013, 17:06 GMT)

My prediction: Misbah, Azhar and Asad will play well. Pakistan will make between 250-300. SA will be bowled out between 200-220. Ajmal will get another five wicket haul.

Posted by Perera32 on (February 16, 2013, 17:05 GMT)

If Pakistan can bat for 2 more sessions tommorow, then they should be in a winning position but it will be tough. This is turning to be a great test match. All the best to Pakistan.

Posted by Papa_Tango on (February 16, 2013, 17:05 GMT)

Nasir Jamshed is a player in the making - after showing how it is done against India (three centuries on the trot, son), on his first tour to SA, he is obviously having a hard time. Likewise, Junaid Khan after showing how it is done against India, did well in the first test and now injury has sidelined him. Patience, grasshopper.

Posted by riz309 on (February 16, 2013, 17:03 GMT)

Tomorrow is gonna be as usual the saf bowlers will get some early breakthrough and all day long Pakistan batsmen be playing under pressure,if Pakistan can get 250 plus that's gonna be some test match,BTW if Peterson can get some spin that we saw then Ajmal seriously gonna be a problem for Saf batsmen but again the key is Ajmal need some good score to defend ,the first 2 day's belonged to Pakistan and the 3rd day belonged to Saf let's see who is gonna be at top tomorrow, SA still fav to win this match.

Posted by   on (February 16, 2013, 16:58 GMT)

if south Africa win series 3-0 than its also not a surprise by me. but we cant called them really number as equal to mighty Australia of 1998-2008 or westendies of 80s. Because in sub continent they cant win even a single match due to following reasons 1) they dont have quality spinner as England have 2) They dont have reverse swing and new ball come on bat very nicely on bat in india pakistan srilankan pitches.

Posted by swingstowin on (February 16, 2013, 16:52 GMT)

Azhar Ali is the key if Pakistan are to put a decent total. I wish Pakistan team had read the pitch and played Rehman instead of Tanvir. He would have loved that rough patch ,and made the left handers dance to his spin. If Pakistan score 140 runs more then GAME ON!!! GoodLuck Pakistan.

Posted by Akhter786 on (February 16, 2013, 16:47 GMT)

if south Africa is best BECAUSE they went from 139/5 to 326,then pakiatan should be BESTEST because they went from 33/4 to 338,,,

way lower from Africa to a touch higher,,,,

or it is also the other way Pakistan went from a comfortable 253/4 to 338 all out,, a classic Pakistan collapse,,,

what ever the way you like it, this test match is surely testing S Arfica and yet again proving WHY Pakistan is called The RESILIENT!!!!

Posted by   on (February 16, 2013, 16:47 GMT)

Selection error--They should have given a chance to Abdul Rehman than Tanvir ahmed.I dont know why tanvir ahmed keeps coming back into this team while some talented young out there. Rehman could be a good choice as we have seen in the past,he has supported Ajmal brilliantly from other end by keep adding pressure from one side. Well as for now,Pakistan need to post atleast 270 to 300 on the board to be able to give SA batting a real challenge in 4th innings.

Posted by Dhanvanth on (February 16, 2013, 16:45 GMT)

Key s ajmal for Pakistan! Any score beyond 250 s tough on this pitch...Pakistan's oly chance of winning is here! Centurion pitch is green and doesn't help spinners. Nasir is just maturing as a test player..he ll definitely come strong

Posted by tests_the_best on (February 16, 2013, 16:45 GMT)

This is turning out to be a classic test match with all 3 results a possibility. The next 2 days should be exciting.

Posted by mazii on (February 16, 2013, 16:41 GMT)

I must say classic game of test cricket. Twist and turn, Advantages lost and regained; this is test match cricket for you guys. Wait until the end of next day dudes. Yesterday Pakistanis were thumping their chest because they were on top and today I must say its 50-50 still. This is cricket and we have to wait who wins till the last ball bowled. Peterson has been a useless on this pitch. I don't think he will trouble Pakistan batsmen. The ball is already old and the same old story of when the ball gets old, SA bowlers don't look threatening and it is evident that after 7-2 Pakistan is now 100-3. So wait guys wait for the next day and enjoy. At least Pakistan is competing against these mighty SA unlike Aussies and England who lost on their home grounds.

Posted by Mitch1066 on (February 16, 2013, 16:31 GMT)

South Africa have best seam bowling attack it simple fact. Now if u added quality spinner like adjmal then they be unstoppable . And Husnain deejay if they are not best bowling unit who are but please don't lie and say India because that untrue as England smashed there bowling unit . I personally would like as dream bowling unit jimmy Anderson morne morkel veron privander and of course adjmal they certainly take sum beating. I still think Pakistan can get result so good look Pakistan and South Africa well we are all know how good they are so we shall see. May best team win

Posted by tshepo008 on (February 16, 2013, 16:31 GMT)

I think its not going to be that easy for Ajmal to get wickets in the second innings despite the fact that he will be bowling on day 4 and 5. SA are going to analyse his technique and they are going to play him more positively.

Posted by Solid_Snake on (February 16, 2013, 16:29 GMT)

This is what real test match is..When Pakistan started their 2nd inngs,i thought that another collapse is waiting ahead.But the way Younis & Azhar stood up & continued to score,it was awesome.Still pakistan is not safe..Pak should score fast.Any target above 200 would be challenging on this pitch.I wish if Rehman was there too but anyways...Younis got very unlucky getting bowled out by Steyn...Right from the first inngs Steyn kept on Sledging & trying to provoke Younis but that tactic failed.Steyn continued the act in the 2nd inngs as well.In the end Younis got bowled out on a delivery which by no means was meant to produce such result.

Posted by perl57 on (February 16, 2013, 16:14 GMT)

With the new wiz kid jamshed having another exceptional batting display with a mega zero, I am guessing Pakistan would score anywhere between 125-250. That will be erased by SA may be a bit after tea. It would have been before tea had Junaid Khan been there. He has been another spectacular failure.

Posted by   on (February 16, 2013, 16:05 GMT)

I think SA on top here. Pakistan not out of danger. They need to score many more tomorrow to trouble SA. Ajmal may be good in 4th but need score to put pressure.

Important thing for PAK that morkel injured so if they can see off Philander-Steyn they may be easy.

Plus they need to score some runs. misbah Azhar went too slow today which will not put SA under any pressure instead it puts PAK under pressure l.

And they have only 36 overs to score something before new ball.

Advantage lost for PAK. Bad luck for them. drop & noball cost them.

Robin played a great inings and if SA wins this that should be a match wining.

Posted by dharsanti on (February 16, 2013, 16:02 GMT)

key is azhar ali, if he sticks in till end of day, he will make SA bowlers work hard in the morning session and when dew is out pakistan can enjoy the party with peterson. Superb traditional test player

Posted by   on (February 16, 2013, 15:48 GMT)

Well I would Say that a target above 250 can slightly challenge SA , anything bellow it would be a win for them. The reason why i am saying is that is the lack of a wicket taking bowler except Ajmal. The injury of Junaid khan was a big blow for Pakistan. As usual , if the ball gets old , there is nothing which SA bowlers could do. Who ever says that Steyn is world no 1 should also consider that he has nothing in his arsenal for the old bowl. No reverse swing , no good yorkers ... Besides that , lack of a good quality spinner for SA dosent makes them qualify as the best bowling side.Period.

Posted by mzm149 on (February 16, 2013, 15:35 GMT)

Pakistan will not get any better pitch on this tour. They were unlucky not to cash on good first innings owing to Junaid Khan's absence. Top order collapse is once again making the situation tough for Pakistan.

The problem with Azhar Ali and Misbah is that they score at snail's pace and when their wicket falls, the addition to total score is minimal. To add to that Azhar Ali is not a good player of even ordinary spin bowling.

I am still hoping for 250 runs lead and anxiously waiting for Ajmal's magic show!!

Posted by   on (February 16, 2013, 15:34 GMT)

Well Nasir is a great player(everyone knows it) but it takes a bit time to get used to test cricket, specially when your partner is not playing well>

Posted by dontlikecricket on (February 16, 2013, 15:24 GMT)

Test match of the highest quality!!! With so many twists and turns this match has captivated fans just like a soap opera (regardless who do you support or a neutral fan). SA has shown why they are number 1 with quality batting by the lower order. On the other hand PAK is definitely missing experienced fast bowlers. This will be rectified in near future with many up coming young bowlers. I am not entirely sure what's the good target in the 4th innings, however anything around 200 should be interesting. For PAK remaining batsmen it's a slow race, if they are able to bat about 100 overs, they should be able to give a decent target. With Azhar appears to be coming to some kind of form, why not let him open in the third test?? Afterall he is actually an opner by trade and may not able to make a lot of runs quickly, he may be able to blunt the SA attack. Hafeez can come a little down the order when ball is a little old and may be he will be able to score runs at a faster rate!!

Posted by Dhanvanth on (February 16, 2013, 14:41 GMT)

It takes a great deal to even draw a Test match against South Africa leave alone winning:) i think in this era no other team looks to compete with them! Oly Australia comes somewat close. Its gonna be a miracle if India wins atleast one Test in south Africa..i think India can recall Dravid or vvs for sa tour

Posted by   on (February 16, 2013, 14:10 GMT)

oayaz01: You don't even know whether philander edged it

Posted by   on (February 16, 2013, 14:10 GMT)

@AK47_pk: no South Africa is not the best team BECAUSE they went from 139/5 to 326. Its the other way around. BECAUSE South Africa is the best, they went from 139/5 to 326.

Posted by PakoP on (February 16, 2013, 14:08 GMT)

as I said last week, PAK is test # 4 team, do not take them lightly, they are the Dark Horse of Cricket brotherhood. I tell you guys Target of 200 will be close to impossible for SA to chase on 4th and 5th Day.

Target = 200 means SA has Lost the game.

Posted by AK47_pk on (February 16, 2013, 13:56 GMT)

So sa is the best team cuz they went from 139/5 to 326? Well pak were 34/4 nd went on to make 338. Tak this.

Posted by Riz000 on (February 16, 2013, 13:45 GMT)

Hafeez wat a legend wow i have been telling ppl frm years and years this guy is no good To pakistan plz dnt ever hav this guy in the team ever again plz PCB plz PLZ get rid of HAFEEZ foreva for once!

Posted by   on (February 16, 2013, 13:35 GMT)

Even a 150 lead will put SA into trouble. SA better start mental preparation to face SA (the other one!). I think it will end by day 4.

Posted by FiGhtCluB_99 on (February 16, 2013, 13:29 GMT)

Nasir Jamshed is a seriously overhyped player. He might do well in some BPL/SLPL but hey this is serious Test cricket and openers of such low quality should not be playing. Shafiq looks somewhat better.

Posted by Mitch1066 on (February 16, 2013, 13:28 GMT)

I must say ajmal must be one best spinners it as simple as that. Pakistan are pretty competitive it seams thrashed my team 3-0 now they look like draw level with South Africa . Seam be best out sub continent teams

Posted by oayaz01 on (February 16, 2013, 13:05 GMT)

@Andrew Warren - Kallis dismisal was an error made by not understanding the law but Philander was not a case of any law, the umpires have been provided walky talky to check for no balls than just shouting, in this day and age if you have any doubts as an umpire you ask, if that was given out, Pak lead would have been around 80 and not just 12. Other than that, umpres hardly gave any LBW and Pak had to go for DRS. Amla was as plumb as you'll ever get but still not given out where as umpre had no hesitation giving Jamshed out, and yes what about the attrocious umpiring against Pak at Joburg?

Posted by Solid_Snake on (February 16, 2013, 12:53 GMT)

There you go..Pakistan batmen on a roll once again..

Posted by   on (February 16, 2013, 12:52 GMT)

this is really club level batting by team pak rubish aproach in batting really they do not know which ball to defend and which ball to attach really disappointing

Posted by   on (February 16, 2013, 12:52 GMT)

looking back at hafeez dismisals i picked a trend in styn's bowling, his normal top ball is short of good length moving away from right handers, then he has this one which is on good length a bit fuller and that one comes in so u really have to play him on length so if fuller it is coming in or u can free ur arms hit him through the line, may be in air it does not matter and if short of the length either look to leave it or cut him hard if u r really desperate

Posted by   on (February 16, 2013, 12:47 GMT)

what a start for proteas i think palk will be all out by lunch tomorrow and proteas will chase 220-230 to win the test

Posted by   on (February 16, 2013, 12:37 GMT)

this performance shows why SA r the best team in the world,109/5 but still went on to make 326,after day2 their coach asked the Saffa batsman to play Ajmal with more positive approach and the day 3 result shows that SA executed their plan well even with only lower order batsman,so i guess the road will only be tougher for pak from nowon unless they pull their socks,the moment Ajmal has been neutralised in Day3 the whole pak bowling fell flat...pak need to have plan B in place if Plan A doesn't works

Posted by Resultpredictor on (February 16, 2013, 12:36 GMT)

Great start by Steyn and Philander, Pakistan collapse is waiting to happen. Match will be over by either today or tomorrow first session. Congrats SA for emphatic victory

Posted by redcat on (February 16, 2013, 12:36 GMT)

50/50 now - who has the mental strength to win? - I suspect its going to come down to a few runs! Go Proteas.

Posted by matchfixerpkn on (February 16, 2013, 12:34 GMT)

tanweers speed avarage speed is 128..is this fast bowlers avarage ?? if i m the coach ..i will ask tanweer to decrese the pace and look of turn :) .so that one can say 3 spinners and 2 fast bowler oinstead of 3 fast man..

Posted by   on (February 16, 2013, 12:26 GMT)

Dropped catches do not constitute luck. Its bad fielding. Fielding is part of test cricket. Field better and South Africa wouldn't get so many runs. So Philander should have been out for 0, but Kallis should not have been out for 2.

Now the bowlers need to pull their weight, or the hard work done by De Villiers and Peterson will be wasted. Bet we wish we had Ajmal. Pakistan can lose this test now if they don't bat well. Pressure is on Pakistan.

Posted by oayaz01 on (February 16, 2013, 12:14 GMT)

I don't know why on earth Sarfraz and Tanvir have been selected on this tour, it looks they wanted to fill the numbers from Karachi. Sarfraz keeping is as horrendous as you can ever get, he missed two catches and gave loads of byes, and his batting is below par at test level. Tanvir on the other hand is a club level bowler, even I can bowl faster than him.

2-0 to Saffers, they will blow Pak in 2nd innings for less than 200 and match won. 10 years but no change in Pak think tank, they did same in Aus in 2004 when only Kenerial and Shoaib looked like taking wickets, as they had passngers in Sami and Razzaq back then just as GUL and TANVIR now...why Abdul rehman is sitting out if Junaid was unfit.

Posted by mzm149 on (February 16, 2013, 12:12 GMT)

Pakistan lost the chance of lead and hence the chance of winning the game. I hope Pakistan scores 300 in 2nd innings to have some chance.

Posted by   on (February 16, 2013, 12:08 GMT)

may be SA lucky with ABD drops & no ball verdict of Philander caught behind.

BUT Great inings by Robin. he played really well. and these runs will be very important.

Posted by   on (February 16, 2013, 11:56 GMT)

SA got lucky today. ABD got luck with drops and that cost Pak 24 runs with 46 runs partnership.

The Philander was out for 0 but given no ball. which wasnt. poor decision and he made 18 with 50+ partnership . Pak unlucky here.

Advantage lost now for Pakistan. Batsmen will have to bat well. Yes Ajmal can be dangerous in 4th inings but he needs some runs to bowl at. its and 2nd inings game now. whoever bat well in 2nd inings will win.

Posted by oayaz01 on (February 16, 2013, 11:33 GMT)

Pak 10 as Tanvir only filling the numbers vs Saf 13 -( 2 umpires who want SAF to win at every case) what a contest......how on earth Amla wasn't given out when struck plumb and Vern should have been back....these decisions change the game....ICC apologising to Kallis but no apologies to Pak in Joburg when DRS cost them the margin of defeat.

It reminds me of Hobart 1999 when Langer was given out by mistake in first innings by Ausi umpire Peter parker and he later apoligized and then didn't given a big nick, resulting in Pak's defeat.

Posted by Resultpredictor on (February 16, 2013, 11:33 GMT)

SA is in complete control of this match because Pakistan missed an opportunity to take a big lead. The only result of this match will be victory for SA. This shows that SA is No.1 team in the world and no one can write off SA until the last ball of the match is bowled. SA is the Champion....

Posted by   on (February 16, 2013, 11:28 GMT)

phakinder dissmised of legal dilevry but not given but younus khan dismissed by a more sensitive(more chance to be called no ball) but still given out in 2nd inning of 1st test of morne morkel

Posted by Harmony_not_Discord on (February 16, 2013, 11:20 GMT)

Why did the third umpire not get involved on Irfan's no ball that wasn't?

Also, although there was a clear noise but hot spot didn't pick it up. Hotspot hasn't worked well in this series.

Posted by redcat on (February 16, 2013, 11:15 GMT)

Fascinating Game - from 33/4 (Pak) on day one to 139/5 (SA) over night...to survival at lunch on day 3. What next?

Posted by EddieKhan on (February 16, 2013, 11:11 GMT)

The match is still evenly balanced and fourth inning will be very cruicial...its will be more likely SA vs SA (South Africa vs Saeed Ajmal)

Posted by   on (February 16, 2013, 11:03 GMT)

sa fighting back think pakistan will have a 1st innings lead though maybe smith should rotate his bowlers a little more as it gets hotter fasinating session to come

Posted by Hira1 on (February 16, 2013, 10:51 GMT)

since the concept of neutral umpiring is introduced, this is the most poor umpiring we have seen in years, how on earth that was given no ball when Philander was out..........where is ICC now?

Posted by Tripswitch on (February 16, 2013, 10:50 GMT)

I was hoping for a good performance from Pakistan but not a great one - can we resume normal service(South African that is) please?

Well played Pakistan! Give Saeed Ajmal a Bells!

Posted by   on (February 16, 2013, 10:49 GMT)

could have been more worse for SA if ABD wasnt this much lucky and umpire not misjudged a no ball off irfan.

now pakistan has to bat very well in 2nd inings. major advantage lost.

Posted by   on (February 16, 2013, 10:46 GMT)

ABD was lucky to survuive tight lbw then Azhars drop has cost pak 24 runs of him & partnership of 46 with robin.sarfraz's chance was difficult 1.

Irfan finally got 1st wicket. might have another close call with that no ball of philander. he might be out but given no ball.. Should have checkd no ball.

Gul is unlucky 2 drop & withput wicket.

i would say initiative lost for pakistan. any lead would be handy but they must be looking at 3 figures which is not now.

Now pak will have to bat very very well in 2nd inings. Any lead will be handy but not sufficiant & comfortable now. and have to start over again.

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