SA build commanding lead

South Africa’s tour of Pakistan isn’t going too well for the hosts, and Day 3 of the 2nd Test match turned out pear shaped for the Pakistanis once more, as the Proteas built a 305 run lead by stumps. Captain Graeme Smith was the star of the show, scoring 75 not out for the South Africans.

Before Smith, aided by Jacques Kallis, pushed the South Africans well clear, the South African seam attack secured a first innings lead, with Makhaya Ntini taking three wickets to bowl the hosts out for 206.

Pakistan began the morning 217 runs behind and only managed to reduce the deficit by 9 before allrounder Jacques Kallis to the wicket of ex-Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq for 14, caught behind by Mark Boucher. Only one further run was scored before the new man in, new Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik, was also on his way back to the pavilion – caught at short leg off quick bowler Dale Steyn. After just 27 balls in the day, Pakistan were reeling at 150-6, Still over 200 behind South Africa.

The incoming Abdur Rehman did all in his power to aid the in batsman, Misbah-ul-Haq, and stage a fightback. The pair put on 39 for the seventh wicket to take Pakistan out of reach of the follow on. Misbah settled in well as he passed his previous highest Test dcore of 28, a disappointing record for someone averaging almost 49 in First Class cricket. Rehman also set his highest Test score, albeit in just his second game, striking 4 fours in a patient 25 not out.

The partnership was broken by the re-introduction of Makhaya Ntini into the attack. The fast bowler, ranked the second best Test bowler in the World, tore through the lower order to reinforce South Africa’s dominance on the game. Misbah was caught behind fishing at a wide delivery to end his innings of 41, Umar Gul was struck on the pads first ball by Ntini and sent straight back the the pavilion, and Danesh Kaneria edged behind to Boucher again, also without a run added to the board. The catch made Boucher the first to record 400 dismissals in Tests. Left arm spinner, Paul Harris wrapped up the innings, having Asif caught by Amla two add to his two wickets yesterday.

South African openers Gibbs and Smith had a lead of 151 to build on, and added solidly to it to start with a partnership of 34 off 10 overs. However, the unusually subdued Gibbs threw his wicket away after reaching 16 with a reckless flash off an Umar Gul delivery which he nicked to Kamran Akmal behind the stumps.

Hashim Amla scored a cagey 17 before being bowled by Rehman. However, Smith at the other end was going confidently, not letting anything past his defences and easing his way towards a twelfth Test century. At the other end was Jacques Kallis, a man in form, with two centuries in the previous Test and a 50 in the first innings of this one. Kallis continued where he left off and made an assured 37 in and unbeaten partnership of 88 to see South Africa’s lead past 300 by stumps.

From here, a series victory for South Africa looks assured, and if Pakistan are going to make a remarkable comeback and tie the series, it looks like they’ll have to do it without star seamer Mohammad Asif, who injured his elbow after bowling just 4 overs and is scheduled to have an MRI scan.

South Africa 357
Ashwell Prince 63, Jacques Kallis 59
Danish Kaneria 4-114, Umar Gul 3-103

Pakistan 206
Kamran Akmal 52, Misbah-ul-Haq 41
Makhaya Ntini 3-42, Paul Harris 3-57

South Africa 154-2
Graeme Smith 75*, Jacques Kallis 37*
Abdur Rehman 1-38, Umar Gul 1-40

South Africa lead by 305 with 8 second innings wickets remaining

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