Published: Sat, January 12, 2019
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Pakistan look to salvage pride as South Africa eye clean sweep

Pakistan look to salvage pride as South Africa eye clean sweep

The game turned quickly after the interval, though, and the wickets were shared among the Pakistan seamers.

Left to negotiate a tricky 40 minutes before the close, Pakistan lost Shan Masood, their top scorer in the series, for two when a successful review by South Africa showed he had got a faint edge to a ball angled across him. Markram crafted 14 boundaries during his knock, marked by crisply-struck drives and clips to leg. The right-hander, who had to pass a fitness test after suffering a badly bruised right thigh while fielding in the second Test in Cape Town, gave a sharp chance to short leg Shan Masood off Amir when he had two, but otherwise looked in command. He took the attack to Hasan and didn't allow him to get into any sort of rhythm. After notching up an excellent fifty, Markram looked all set to get a century, but his innings was cut short at 90.

Following the 5-match ODI series against Pakistan, South Africa will play another 5-match ODI series against Sri Lanka which will be their final preparations before the much-anticipated Cricket World Cup begins in England and Wales from May 30.

Theunis de Bruyn (49) and new cap Zubayr Hamza (41) both batted brightly in a fourth wicket stand which was worth 72 off 92 balls at tea. The 23-year-old announced his arrival with a maximum over cow corner before playing a couple of eye-pleasing shots square of the wicket.

De Bruyn, needing a good innings to keep his place in the team, was on 48 at tea but added just one run before his departure set off the avalanche of wickets with Hamza, after looking confident on debut, getting a small nick behind for 41.

However, Mohammad Abbas trapped De Bruyn lbw to trigger a collapse that saw the final seven South African wickets fall in the space of 17.2 overs in Johannesburg.

For South Africa, it was a case of missed opportunities.

After winning the toss and batting first, the Proteas made a shaky start when stand-in captain Dean Elgar was out caught behind for 5 in only the second over of the day, off the bowling of Muhammad Abbas, who finished with figures of 2 for 44 in 18 impressive overs.

Talented youngster Shaheen Shah Afridi could be rested for this final Test as he has started to look somewhat worn out as many of their players did in the last Test so Hasan Ali could come back in while spinner Shadab Khan could be handed an opportunity to get some more experience in the Test match format.

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