Proteas fix fielding errors to have Pakistan reeling

Vernon Philander was the man of the hour as he tore into the tourists' batting line-up to reduce them to 111/5 on Saturday morning.
Vernon Philander was the man of the hour as he tore into the tourists' batting line-up to reduce them to 111/5 on Saturday morning.
Image: Gordon Arons/Gallo Images

South Africa recovered from a sluggish first hour on Saturday morning where they dropped four catches‚ missed a stumping and a run-out to take three wickets and reduce Pakistan to 111/5 on the second day of the third and final Test in Johannesburg.

Pakistan still trail South Africa by 151 first innings runs and they will rue the lost wickets of Mohammad Abbas (11) and Asad Shafiq (0) from Duanne Olivier and Imam-ul-Haq (43) from Vernon Philander as the Proteas fixed their fielding errors.

Pakistan added 94 runs to their overnight score of 17/2. They will resume with Babar Azam and captain Sarfraz Ahmed on respective scores of 41 and 8‚ and their intention will be to bat as long as possible to reduce South Africa’s advantage.

Besides their poor fielding‚ South Africa also survived a scare when Dale Steyn walked off the field clutching his shoulder‚ but he returned and continued to bowl.

Before the wickets of Abbas and Shafiq‚ the Bullring watched in disbelief as the Proteas displayed a woeful fielding performance that started with Ul-Haq let off the hook by wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock‚ who failed to gather the ball allowing the Pakistani batsman to regain balance and save himself.

Then Temba Bavuma and Theunis de Bruyn dropped Mohammad Abbas and Ul-Haq from the bowling of Philander and Steyn.

Abbas got another lifeline when he was dropped by De Kock as the South African fast bowling trio of Kagiso Rabada‚ Philander and Steyn cranked up the early pressure before Olivier was introduced to the attack.

There were to be more errors from the Proteas as De Kock dropped Ul-Haq and Abbas was saved by a wayward throw by Rabada‚ which could have accounted for a run-out off one ball.

The South Africans finally got it right in the second hour of the session when Abbas edged the ball to third slip from where De Bruyn claimed a regulation catch from the bowling of Olivier‚ and another wicket followed in the same over when Shafiq was caught by De Kock.

Shortly before the break Dean Elgar caught Ul-Haq’s thick edge at slips from Philander as Pakistan plunged deeper into trouble.

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