x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Paul Radley reports from the fourth day of the Test, where the Proteas bowlers are being frustrated by a fine fifth-wicket partnership by Pakistan.

Afternoon - Pakistan 274 for five

For so long during the afternoon session, it seemed as though the Great Escape was still just about possible for Pakistan. Then Misbah ul Haq, their captain, had a complete brain melt.

His 197 run stand with Asad Shafiq for the fifth wicket was so full of resilience it will have filled the home team dressing room with both optimism and cheer.

The manner of his dismissal, for 88, will have lanced that at a stroke. Faced with the part-time spin of Dean Elgar, he tried to launch him into the Royal Box. All he succeeded in doing was surrendering a catch to Jacques Kallis at slip.

Hopes now rest on the diminutive frame of Asad Shafiq, the pocket-sized batsman who had moved onto 114 by tea.

Morning - Pakistan 198 for four

Asad Shafiq and Misbah ul Haq showed the sort of resilience that was so sorely missing in Pakistan’s first innings as they made it through the morning session on day four with their wickets in tact.

Shafiq had reached 67 by the time of the interval, while his captain was undefeated on 60.

Their doggedness provided a faint hope Pakistan could yet reduce the 220 run deficit they face and save the game.

However, there is still much work to do, as South Africa took the new ball just before the break.

With a reviving lunch, Dale Steyn, Vernon Philander and Morne Morkel, the Proteas seamers, will be thinking they can make inroads.

Evening - Pakistan 326 all out, lose by an innings and 92 runs

Asad Shafiq’s vigil finally ended when he was stumped by AB de Villiers from an off-break by JP Duminy on the 320th delivery he faced.

The centurion had shown the sort of resistance that would have pleased his coach, Dav Whatmore. Pity for Pakistan it was an innings too late.

Subsiding to a huge innings defeat was due to the fact Pakistan managed only 99 on the first day.

The last rights were administered between Duminy, who picked up three for 67, and fellow spinner Imran Tahir, whose three more in the second innings took him to a match aggregate of eight.

pradley@thenational.ae