x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Pakistan v South Africa Dubai Test Day 3 session updates

Paul Radley reports from the third day of the Test, where the Proteas finally ended their first innings with 517 and Pakistan have already lost two wickets in their second innings.

Dale Steyn caught Shan Masood leg before wicket before Pakistan had even scored a run in their second innings today. Marwan Naamani / AFP
Dale Steyn caught Shan Masood leg before wicket before Pakistan had even scored a run in their second innings today. Marwan Naamani / AFP

Evening session - Pakistan 132 for four

South Africa’s minds will be less on the fact they are a mere six wickets from winning a series-halving victory than an impending ball-tampering furore.

The umpires penalised the Proteas five runs for altering the condition of the ball by unlawful means, and ordered the ball be replaced.

They will be awaiting the umpire’s report at the close of play. The incident appears to be a mere formality in the bid to wrap up victory here.

Imran Tahir accounted for one of the few Pakistani captain capable of playing the type of innings that could save his side, when he bowled Younis Khan.

At stumps, Pakistan were 286 runs in arrears with six wickets left.

Afternoon session – Pakistan 56 for three

Pakistani supporters hoping to see reprisal of Azhar Ali and Younis Khan’s joint act of escapology from last year’s Test here against England were left dejected when Azhar fell to JP Duminy.

The No 3 batsman fell lbw to the Proteas off-spinner for 19 after sharing a doughty 46 run stand with Younis.

At least Younis was still there when the tea interval arrived, giving faint life to Pakistan’s outside chances of saving this match to claim a series win.

Pakistan’s most experienced batsman was on 29 from 80 balls at the break, and had been joined at the wicket by his captain, Misbah ul Haq.

The strain of the titanic challenge facing Pakistan to save the second Test against South Africa was telling on the side’s players on day two.

Saeed Ajmal appeared to be sailing extremely close to incurring an official reprimand from Ian Gould, the standing umpire at his end, as his frustration bubbled up after a series of appeals were turned down.

The off spinner made a mocking appeal to the official for a catch when Morne Morkel clearly edged the ball to Younis Khan at slip.

The dismissal followed the very next ball after Ajmal had been rebuffed when he thought Morkel had edged to Adnan Akmal at the wicket.

Ajmal attempted to review the decision, believing Pakistan’s quota of DRS appeals to have been topped up after 160 overs ticked over.

The new regulations only allow for two more reviews after 80 overs, though.

Almost immediately after that incident, Misbah ul Haq, Pakistan’s captain, reported two unruly supporters for verbally abusing him and his team.

The two fans, who were apparently questioning the wisdom of leaving Younis out of Pakistan’s one-day squad, were promptly ejected from the ground.

“Two individuals were shouting comments in contravention of the ICC Anti-Racism Code which prohibits the use of language that is offensive, insulting, humiliating, intimidating or vilifying,” said a Dubai Sports City spokesman.

“The Pakistan captain followed the correct protocol and brought this to the attention of the umpires who, in turn, alerted the match referee.

“Venue security was informed and the two individuals were identified and removed from the venue.”

Morning session - South Africa 517 all out, Pakistan two for two

After only one wicket all day on Thursday, eight fell in a clatter in an extended Friday morning session. None of which helped Pakistan’s cause too greatly.

Saeed Ajmal led Pakistan from their field after a profitable morning for his side in which they took six South African wickets.

The off-spinner had let his frustrations bubble to the surface, in particular during an on-going contretemps with the umpire standing at his end, Ian Gould.

At least he had something to show for 55.5 overs of hard labour, in the form of six wickets.

However, the nominal hosts of this series still face a substantial uphill task from here. With Graeme Smith’s monumental 234 the bedrock of South Africa’s 517, Pakistan now have to make at least 418 if they are to make their visitors bat again in the match.

They began in the worst fashion possible, losing Shan Masood before a score was even on the board, trapped lbw by Dale Steyn.

In the second over, Vernon Philander had Khurram Manzoor caught in the slips to leave Pakistan in a dire state.

pradley@thenational.ae