By BV Swagath
South Africa overcame some good Pakistani bowling to finish at a healthy 334 for 6 in 85 overs bowled on the opening day’s play of the Third and Final Test at the SuperSport Park in Centurion. Batting first after winning the toss, South Africa lost two early wickets before recovering thanks to Hashim Amla’s 92 (from 128 balls with 13 fours). AB de Villiers (98* from 179 balls with 13 fours) rescued the Proteas in the final session with a superb unbeaten stand of 86 with Vernon Philander (45*).
For the Pakistanis, left-arm pacer Rahat Ali claimed 3 for 95 and teenage pacer Ehsan Adil on his Test debut took 2 for 54 which included the big wicket of Graeme Smith taken with just the third ball of his international career.
South Africa lost Jacques Kallis for this Test match with the all-rounder suffering a calf strain. In his place, came Kyle Abbott, the 25-year-old pace bowling all-rounder who would make his Test debut. Pakistan on the other hand lost Umar Gul who missed out because of a sore throat while Junaid Khan is yet to recover from his injury.