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South Africa down Pakistan by 4-wickets to take series 2-0

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South Africa completed a rousing, four-wicket victory against Pakistan on Sunday when they chased down a victory target of 182 at Sahara Park Newlands to take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the Sunfoil Test series with one match to play.

Vernon Philander once again played the lead role on his home ground when the tourists resumed their second innings on 100-3, a lead of 112. Philander claimed two wickets in as many balls to break the back of the batting resistance as a promising position was reduced to a total of 169 all out.

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Peterson leads South African fightback on Day 3 in Cape Town, match very much in the balance

 

A day of fluctuating fortunes and rousing fightbacks from both South Africa and Pakistan left the second Sunfoil Test match poised on a knife-edge after three days at Sahara Park Newlands on Saturday. The tourists closed the day on 100-3 in their second innings, a lead of 112, but it could have been so much better – or worse!

Robbie Peterson scored a career-best 84 in the morning session to repair the Proteas first innings which was in tatters overnight at 139-5, a huge deficit of 199, although the rebuilding work started with AB de Villiers (61) and Dean Elgar who added 55 for the fifth wicket.

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The Enemy Within

 

A hot and humid Thursday was bound to lead to an extremely overcast Friday in Chennai. While dark clouds covered the city along the Coromandel Coast since early morning, the thunderstorm that washed away the practice session closer to noon was not expected to be as ferocious as it turned out to be.

What, however, was on expected lines was a pre-match press conference sans Gautam Gambhir. The India-A captain was amongst the lucky few batsmen who managed a hit in the nets before the heavens opened up. Usually the skipper addresses the media on the eve of the match, but the under pressure (former) India opener gave it a skip and it was coach Lalchand Rajput who came out to address the limited media in attendance.

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Saeed Ajmal takes 5-fer to put Pakistan on top in Cape Town

Saeed Ajmal enjoyed a brilliant day with bat and ball as Pakistan took charge of the second Sunfoil Test match against South Africa after reducing their hosts to a precarious 139-5 – a deficit of 199 - by the close of the second day at Sahara Park Newlands on Friday. Ajmal starred with the bat as the tourists recovered from 268-8 to make an above average 338 all out in their first innings but then dominated with the ball, claiming all five wickets to fall as the Proteas top order failed to cope with his mixture of off spinners, top spinners and doosras.

The first half-hour of the day was the only period in which Pakistan struggled as they lost three quick wickets to Vernon Philander and appeared to have squandered their promising overnight position of 253-5. Philander’s haul of 5-59 was his ninth five-wicket bag in just his 15th Test and third at Sahara Park Newlands where his 26 wickets have cost just 12.3 runs apiece. But the end of his spell signalled the beginning of a ninth-wicket partnership of 64 between Ajmal (21*) and medium pacer Tanvir Ahmed who scored a swashbuckling 44 from 59 deliveries.

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Shafiq, Younis steer Pakistan to respectability in Cape Town

A brilliant fight back led by veteran batsman Younis Khan helped Pakistan reach a respectable total of 253-5 at the close of play on the first day of the second Sunfoil Test at Sahara Park Newlands on Thursday. Younis added 219 for the fifth wicket with Asad Shafiq after the tourists had been reduced to 33-4 in the 17th over after being put in to bat by Protea’s captain Graeme Smith.

Both batsmen survived a barrage of probing fast bowling but eventually blossomed to reach centuries and repair another potentially disastrous position for their country, having been dismissed for just 49 in the first Test at The Bidvest Wanderers last week.

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