A birthday present for Rahat Ali
The sizeable crack outside the right-hander's off stump from the north end was talked about as being something to watch out for as the match wore on and it may have found itself in the spotlight shortly before lunch. Asad Shafiq, in almost exactly the same way as he did in the second innings of the first Test, left a gap between the bat and his body when facing Tendai Chatara. Notable inward movement saw the ball sneak into that space and peg back off stump. Shafiq did not seem to know what had happened as he looked around for the ball and Chatara did not react immediately either. Even Richmond Mutumbami was foxed and made a valiant attempt to collect the ball with a full stretch dive and it was only when he got back on his feet that he saw there was no need to.
Tino Mawoyo, by his own admission, is not the slimmest man on the field but is on a strict diet and exercise regime to shed extra weight. He is, however, one of the quickest to react. After taking a sharp catch at short cover in the first Test, he was placed at short mid-wicket and pounced on a rare lapse in concentration from Younis Khan. When he top-edged while trying to work the ball through square leg, Mawayo popped his arm up, jumped at the right moment and took the catch, much to the delight of his team-mates who held him hoisted in the air for a good ten seconds afterwards.
Rahat Ali celebrated his 25th birthday today and he was given the gift of not being out for a duck. Off the second ball he faced, Brian Vitori induced the outside edge, but Mawoyo at third slip could not add a second stunner to his kitty. The ball bobbled away and Rahat was able to get off the mark. His relief was shortlived, however, as Junaid Khan was bowled off the next ball to end the Pakistan innings but Rahat remained not out.
Pakistan's bowlers made a habit of appealing on almost every second delivery as their spinners started to trouble Mawoyo. But their cries were drowned out when the batsman responded to a loud appeal from Saeed Ajmal by driving the next ball through the covers to bring up his half-century. The crowd at Sports Club, which had grown a fair amount late in the afternoon, applauded with gusto but the loudest cheer came from the changeroom where Mawoyo's team-mates celebrated his milestone. "That's it Tino, you keep going," came the shouts as he raised his bat.
Hamilton Masakadza played the shot of the day when he drove Junaid straight down the ground for four. Everything about the stroke was textbook: from the crack of bat on ball, to the placement past Junaid and the timing. Even Tino Mawoyo turned to admire it as it approached the boundary. But Masakadza was bashful in his response. Instead of watching his handiwork, he walked towards the square leg umpire in a physical act of blushing while the rest were cheering the stroke.
Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent