Pakistan’s Shan Masood and Asad Shafiq scored half centuries as they led a fightback against South Africa on the third day of the second test at Newlands on Saturday, taking their score to 177 for three wickets at tea.
Asad was 73 not out and Shan scored 61 as they effectively dealt with a barrage of hostile bowling from the hosts’ four-man seam attack in a 132-run partnership for the third wicket.
But Pakistan, dismissed for only 177 in their first innings, are still up against it as they trail South Africa by 77 runs after the home side were bowled out for 431 earlier on Saturday, amassing a potential match winning 254-run first innings lead.
Masood was promoted up the order in a bid to shore up a brittle batting lineup but saw his first two partners depart cheaply as Pakistan lost Imam-ul-Haq and Azhar Ali, who both scored six runs each, and scored only 27 runs before lunch.
Home hopes of rattling through the rest of the batsmen after lunch were stymied as Asad proved aggressive, with his half century coming off 56 balls.
Masood was more circumspect, resisting the temptation to hook or pull as he was peppered with rising deliveries, and took 98 balls to reach 50.
But he edged a Dale Steyn delivery behind to wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock just before tea for the home side’s only wicket of the session.
Asad will resume with Babar Azam, who is 16 not out.
Mohammad Amir took three wickets in a lively start to Saturday’s play as South Africa resumed on 382-6 and added 49 more runs before being bowled out.
He removed De Kock for 59 and then tumbled the wickets of Vernon Philander and Rabada for figures of 4-88.
South Africa won the first test in Pretoria last week by six wickets inside three days and are still strongly placed to clinch the three-match series.