JOHANNESBURG: Sloppy South Africans spilled numerous opportunities in the first hour to allow Pakistan to go to lunch at 111 for five on day two of the third and final test at the Wanderers on Saturday.
The home side spilled four catches, missed a stumping and spurned two run-out opportunities, handing four lives to opener Imam-ul-Haq (43), who was finally dismissed ten minutes before the interval.
The free-flowing Babar Azam (41 not out) will resume after the break with captain Sarfraz Ahmed (8 not out) as Pakistan still trail South Africa’s below-par first innings score on 262 by 151 runs, having clawed their way back into the test on the back of two poor sessions from the home side.
South Africa lost their final seven first innings wickets for a dismal 33 runs in the evening session on Friday, and then started day two poorly in the field after Pakistan resumed on 17 for two.
After home wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock had missed a stumping to remove Imam, the left-hander was dropped on 13 and 33 by third slip Theunis de Bruyn and De Kock respectively.
Kagiso Rabada also missed the stumps from a close range run out chance with the left-handed batsman stranded halfway down the wicket.
Nightwatchman Mohammad Abbas (11) was also dropped twice off fairly simple chances to battle through the first hour and frustrate the home side, though South Africa’s luck changed with two wickets in one Duanne Olivier (2-20) over.
Abbas was caught by De Bruyn at slip and three balls later Asad Shafiq left his hands and bat above his head as he tried to duck a bouncer and edged to De Kock behind the stumps.
Imam's luck finally ran out when he steered a Vernon Philander (3-25) delivery to Dean Elgar at slip.
South Africa have already secured the three-match series having won the first two tests by six and nine wickets respectively.
(Reporting By Nick Said; Editing by Amlan Chakrabory)