Tuesday February 5, 2013
Battling Pakistan hold up South Africa’s victory bid
JOHANNESBURG: Pakistan batsmen Misbah-ul-Haq and Asad Shafiq held up South Africa’s push for victory with a defiant fifth wicket partnership on the third day of the first Test at the Wanderers Stadium on Sunday.
Pakistan were 183 for four at the close after being set to make an improbable 480 to win.
The match seemed headed for an early finish when the first four wickets fell for 82 runs, but Pakistan captain Misbah (44 not out) and the stocky Shafiq (53 not out) defended grimly for more than three hours, adding an unbeaten 101.
South Africa remained in a strong position to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series, however, with a second new ball due after five overs and only wicketkeeper Sarfraz Ahmed of the remaining batsmen likely to offer sustained resistance to the South African fast bowlers.
“With our bowling attack we really back ourselves to finish the game,” said South Africa vice-captain AB de Villiers.
“A few cracks are opening up and the new ball will swing around.”
De Villiers said the pitch was better for batting than it had been on the second day when Pakistan were bowled out for 49.
“It’s not going around as much as day two but they (Pakistan) played a lot better. They’ve got a lot of pride to play for so we’re not taking anything for granted. We’ve got a new ball coming up which counts in our favour but we know we have to do the hard work.”