Bavuma’s fighting 44 not enough to save the day

Lucky Mdluli

Was it the pitch or the batting? Again South Africa were stunned in the first few overs when Elgar added no runs to his overnight score.

De Kock went early on the second day for 29, and Rassie van der Dussen was clean-bowled for a first ball duck. Du Plessis got reckless and paid with his wicket for 17 runs.

Temba Bavuma, the little man with the big heart and the “bring it on!” attitude, scored a fighting 44, but was left stranded when Rabada, Maharaj and Nortje went out for a total of one run – and it looked like more of the same when South Africa were all out for 201, trailing by 71 runs.

But when Pakistan came to the crease, they didn’t have it all their own way. Imran Butt went for a duck, Azhar Ali went for 33 – and then the South Africans started showing a bit of fighting spirit. Babar Azam went for 8 and Alam for 12 and once again there was a slight glimmer of hope for the Proteas.

George Linde didn’t show it, but he must have been fuming when both Markram and Elgar dropped catches close to the bat.

Then came the final session – and the South Africans must have seen the test slipping away from them as Maharaj conceded three fours in one over, followed by Nortje conceding 12 runs including two fours – a total of 31 runs in 16 balls.

But George Linde provided a little ray of hope when he took the wicket of Faheem Ashraf for 29 runs.  

By the end of play, South Africa were still a total of 200 runs behind with Pakistan still with four wickets in hand.

Picture source: @OfficialCSA