2 runs immediately for Safraz, who works a ball of his pads to mid-wicket. Two, incidently, is also the number of slips in position for Steyn. He gets the batsman playing and missing a few times, which won't worry him at all. Safraz chops one late through point, and yet another boundary comes up for this pair. They've been able to chalk up at least one per over for the most part.
We're back for the final session of day three of this third Test. Welcome; Dale Steyn will be bowling the first over after the break.
Far, far away (in Grenada, to be exact), Zimbabwe have won the toss and will bat in the second ODI against hosts West Indies. Chris Mpofu is out for Zim, and Kieron Pollard takes the place of Johnson Charles.
Join us in around 15 minutes time to see if South Africa can find the four wickets they need to win this match in the last session of day three. Pakistan will be hoping to avert an innings defeat and make the Proteas bat again. It's a tough ask.
Forward-defensive from Sarfraz, and both AB and Robbie P go up for an LBW - was outside the line though and would have missed the stumps. Sarfraz goes for a big sweep now, and it comes off well for him - four, no-one out there. He skips down the track and drives where a diving mid-on fielder does well to stop it. Ajmal blocks out the over, and off they go to tea. Frustration for the Proteas in that last part of the session, with these two tail-end batsmen finding the boundary rather easily as the last four wickets are being hunted down. Pakistan still trail by 77 runs.
That one didn't bounce from Steyn, and almost rolled past off-stump to beat Ajmal; cross-seam again from Dale Steyn. If one of those is on target, the batsman will be in serious trouble. A bouncer fired in gets Ajmal attempting a wild hook, and he's lucky not to have touched it. A booming straight-drive is stopped by the bowler, and would have gone for a boundary; Ajmal hooks wildly again to the next ball and Steyn is told by the umpire that that's his two above-shoulder deliveries for the over. That was whizzing past at 147km/h, folks. One more over before the players take tea.
Not long until the tea break now, and Vernon would love a wicket to his name before then. Sarfraz and Ajmal have batted well together, scoring quite quickly in the process. A couple of balls keep low outside off again, bouncing about halfway up the stumps; a wide follows and Ajmal is able to take a single to point. That wide was due to excessive bounce, by the way, and not overstepping.
The deficit drops to under one hundred now, and Sarfraz celebrates by pushing the returning Dale Steyn through the covers for four more runs. A deft late cut off the next ball gets him another, and it flies through point. Pakistan have surpassed their first-innings score now as well. The inevitable bouncer follows from the bowler, and Sarfraz nudges one to mid-wicket to bring up the fifty partnership between these two off only 58 balls. Ajmal joins in by pulling to the mid-wicket boundary, and it's not often you see three boundaries from a Steyn over against the tailenders. 14 runs came from it, and he will not be impressed.
Philander continues, still wicketless in this innings, and Ajmal decides to stand and deliver - no foot movement, and he smites it to the long-on boundary for four. Vern responds with a bouncer that the batsman chases, but he misses it and the keeper takes it one-handed above his head.
A great cut shot from Sarfraz gets him a boundary, and he then sweeps Robbie P to fine-leg for a single. Heartening to see from him, as he's had a poor series with the bat. Ajmal prods at one, and it beats AB again to go for four byes - oops. He comes forward again, and it's bat-padder that beats the man at short-leg. Runs flowing for Ajmal today, and his side have passed the 150 mark now.
Philander gets one to nip back sharply, and it just misses the stumps - Ajaml was cut in half beautifully there. He manages to thread one through the gap between slip and gully, and gets a four for his efforts. Well-placed, Saeed.
Ajmal tries a strange sweep/ramp combo and doesn't quite connect well; still, they run two as Smith sprints back from slip to fine-leg to cut it off. He's going to play his shots, and boom! Six runs over long-on! Take that, sir. Peterson will not have enjoyed that, and gives the next one some extra zip. How did that NOT hit the stumps? Pitched outside off and turned in, beat the bat, stumps and AB de Villiers as well to go for a bye.
Here's Big Vern again, and they go up for a catch - Dean Elgar dived to take it, but it's not out according to Billy Bowden. Smith is reviewing it - let's have a look. It may have taken the edge, definitely pad or leg involved...nope, not out. Hotspot says there was no edge, and it looks like it was just the thigh pad on the way through. Third umpire Bruce Oxenford comfirms it, and Sarfraz will remain at the crease.
Howzat! Robin Peterson goes up for LBW, and he's been given out! Ajmal isn't happy though, and he's going to review it. He got forward a little, missed the edge as well as the gloves - and Hawkeye says it was missing the top of the stumps. Well well, Ajmal survives. It looked out until Hawkeye came into play - Peterson is disappointed. There's a short-leg and a silly point, with a single slip to boot for Ajmal. Low full-toss, and they go up again for a potential LBW; not out again though, missing leg.
Sarfraz is ducking as often as he can to Abbott to avoid the short-pitched stuff. A fuller, wider delivery dies on the pitch as he attempts a cover drive and bounces twice before it gets to de Villiers behind the stumps. He gets back now and stabs one through point - it's found the gap, and it's found the boundary too. Four runs to Sarfraz as Abbott finishes his tenth over; five of them have been maidens.
Ajmal prods and misses, before playing one decently from outside off to Hashim Amla at short mid-wicket. A pull behind square this time, and he's timed it well to go for four. Kleinveldt won't have liked that, it was short-pitched but the master off-spinner got hold of very nicelty indeed. A squeeze past point gets him two more - think Rory was gunning for the yorker that time. Run-a-ball for Ajmal so far.
Saeed Ajmal replaces Shafiq at the crease, but it'll be Sarfraz to face Abbott. Still 139 runs behind, Sarfraz ducks out of the way of a short delivery, and defends to point. Not looking confident at the moment, the wicket-keeper, who has a high score of 12 in this series. Looking to pull a short one, he bails out of the shot halfway as he realises it's too high for him to control - good bouncer, Kyle.
Three slips and a gully for the 'keeper Sarfraz, who drops one into the covers for a single off the first ball he's faced. Shafiq defends before chipping one straight to mid-off! Caught by Vernon Philander, that one may have just stopped on Shafiq - leading edge, and he has to go. Great period after lunch from the Proteas, and Pakistan slip ever closer to an innings defeat.
After two wicket-maidens in a row, Shafiq scores two runs by glancing square. A shorter, misdirected one is turned behind for a boundary to fine leg. Good start for Asad Shafiq against a bowler blazing it down at over 140km/h per delivery.
A mix-up again, and Safiq slips at the bowler's end. Luckily for him, he had time to get back after he wanted the run and Misbah didn't; the last thing Pakistan need now is another run-out. Lots of chatter from the SA fielders, letting the batsmen know that they're there. Kleinveldt steams in, and WHAT a beauty! Perfect length, Misbah prods at it and it takes the edge. OUT, and that was simply too good for the captain, and he goes for 5 to leave Pakistan on 107/5. The good work of the first session is now falling apart for them. That delivery would have got most players out.
Seven-wicket hero Abbott is around the wicket to Imran Farhat, with the slips eagerly awaiting the edge. The batsman plays one towards second slip, but reaches him on the bounce. He's out now though - a wild cut finds the nick, and AB takes it jubilantly. It was audible, but it took umpire Billy Bowden a few moments before he raised the crooked finger to send Imran Farhat on his way 43, short of a well-deserved half-century. Yet another wicket for the Dolphins bowler in his very first Test match. The new man is Asad Shafiq, who batted excellently at Newlands last week, and he leaves Abbott well alone.
Kyle Abbott returns.
Edge from Misbah, but he plays it with soft hands and it goes down to ground before reaching the slips. He's bowling over 140km/h, good pace indeed with a ball that's nearly 50 overs old. A half-volley gets the treatment it deserves, with Misbah driving classically to the boundary in front of square for four. That was straight out of the MCC coaching manual!
Fast, good length, straightening...Farhat is doing well here against Steyn. Short-leg comes in under the helmet, and the batsman responds by punching one out of the middle of the bat through the covers for two. Testing over from Dale.
Rory strays onto the pads, and easy pickings for Farhat as he claims a single forward of square. Around the wicket to the right-hander now, and it seems the Rory is going to bounce Misbah ala Steyn too. He abruptly changes back to over the wicket, but can't coax a mistake out of the batsman. Interesting tactics being employed by SA in these last two overs.
Fast and short from Steyn around the wicket to Misbah, short-leg and leg-slip in place. Misbah shoulders arms, and one hits him on the side - no emotion or pain shown by the gritty captain. After a few balls, Steyn decides to return to bowling over the wicket, whilst the leg-slip moves to a short mid-on. Despite the change of angle, it's more of the short stuff to the Pakistani, who is ducking and leaving well. Last one is pitched up, but the captain isn't fooled by it and leaves again.
Just one over of spin, and we have Rory Kleinveldt returning. He, too, is bowling around the wicket, but this time to the left-hander. Farhat is driving well, but finds the fielder each time. Rory is bowling cross-seam as well, and this must be a plan by the South Africans to help the ball skid on more. Meanwhile, Farhat turns one nicely off his hips to pick up two more runs. The hundred comes up in the process for Pakistan, and they are still 153 runs adrift.
Dale, from the Pavilion end, will relish bowling to the new man. He's a bit too excited, and a wayward legside ball taps the batsman's thigh guard to run away for four. He follows it up with a cross-seam ball to make it go straight and fool Misbah into thinking there'll be some seam movement. An interesting choice now - Steyn goes around the wicket to the right-hander, and a leg-slip comes into place. There'll be some short-pitched stuff on the way for sure. Indeed, a bouncer thuds into AB's gloves, but well left alone by the batsman.
Peterson to open with Steyn from the other end...and we have a run-out! Oh, Pakistan! A wicket given away; Farhat glanced one to fine-leg - they wanted two, but Farhat sent Ali back. A rocket of a throw from Dale Steyn found Azhar short of his crease as he dived to make his ground at the 'keeper's end where AB demolished the stumps joyfully. What a huge blow, and the partnership is ended. Misbah-ul-Haq, the skipper, is the next man in. Slight hesitation again, as Misbah defends one and they shakily take a single. These two need to snuff that out as quickly as possible, or we could see another run-out soon.
Back-foot drive first up from Farhat, but he finds the fielder. Not sure why he hasn't been in the side for the first two matches in this series; he ducks a bouncer from Steyn quite comfortably now. Steyn overpitches, and that's a stunningly cover drive down on one knee for a blistering four. What a shot to bring up the fifty partnership between these two!
The players are back on the field; it'll be Dale Steyn to bowl the first over after lunch.
Hello all, and we're almost ready for the second session to get underway here in Centurion. There's a good-sized crowd in today to see if their side can whitewash the Pakistanis 3-0; Azhar Ali and Imran Farhat have dug their heels in well so far to keep them at bay.
Join us in about 40 minutes for the day's second session; meanwhile in Chennai, MS Dhoni is currently on his highest score in Tests against Australia. He's currently on 154 not out, with his side on 452/8 - a lead of 72.
Only a single wicket fell in the morning session - Younus Khan edged Dale Steyn to captain Graeme Smith at first slip to depart for 11. Imran Farhat and Azhar Ali have looked calm and composed, and have left well in addition to showing solid defence. There were some quality drives and pulls on display from both, and they will be looking to extend their stay at the crease deep into the day. It hasn't been easy, and we've seen some variable bounce setting in as well.
That's lunch here in Centurion; great fight shown by the tourists, and they'll be pleased with their effort in this first session. They're still a long way behind (166 runs behind, to be exact) but will be heartened at how they've defended against this Proteas attack.
Edge from Farhat, but its played with soft hands and goes to ground before it reaches the slips. A straigher ball is whipped off the hips, and Farhat takes the single to fine-leg. Another one hits a crack wide of off and takes off to the keeper - moved far to off. Testing over from Big Vern, but Pakistan have made it through to lunch on 87/2 - they're fighting hard, and its good to see.
Deep square-leg comes up into what would be the circle in an ODI; South Africa hoping to encourage Azhar Ali into a top-edged sweep shot. No luck yet, and the right-hander plays out a maiden over. Is that lunch? Looks like we'll have one more over.
Time running out if the Proteas want another wicket before the luncheon interval, and Vern is the man to put Pakistan under pressure now in his tenth over Imran Farhat is all defence though, and plays out a maiden.
Farhat tries the pull, and that was almost out! Off the pad, off the glove and down...that almost hit the stumps! Oh so close there, could have been played-on. A fuller one next up sees an expansive drive from Farhat is middled well, but a diving cover prevents more than one run. Quality fielding that we've become used to from the South Africans. Azhar reaches forward and edges Peterson, but it bounces before Smith at first slip...close again, and some good variations of pace from the left-armer in that over.
Single for Farhat, before another one keeps low outside off to the right-hander. If one of those is on target, there could be a problem for Azhar. He defends forward well to Vern, and then leaves the last to ensure that there won't be a wicket just yet for the prolific Philander.
Vernon Philander is back just before lunch to see if he can snaffle out another one or two wickets for his captain.
Good lenth delivery to Farhat, and he plays it down towards slip. That will excite Smith and Peterson, for sure. A fuller one brings out the cover drive, but it's not timed well and picks up three. AB raced out and dropped his gloves to meet the return throw and tried to throw down the stumps at the bowler's end - the throw was off-target, but the batsman was home safe.
Wayward bouncer heading down leg, might have hit a crack and it goes for 5 wides. AB gave up, he was nowhere near that one. Frustrating for Rory, and that was a 140km/h fireball gone awry.
Short-leg and a single slip for Robbie P as he comes in around the wicket to Azhar Ali. A single out to mid-wicket for Azhar, as he saw the shorter length early; Amla fires in the return throw. He's over the wicket to fellow lefty Farhat and that one didn't bounce much at all...oohhh. The batsman keeps it out. Peterson still looking for his ideal length, and he finds it on the last ball of the over. Tight over, good start Robin.
Time for a change; it's the left-arm spinner Robin Peterson to replace Abbott.
Robin Peterson dives again in the point/gully area to deny Farhat runs - he's done that a few times this morning to the appreciation of this swelling crowd. Oh, glorious stroke from Farhat now - up and over the fielders on the off-side, and that was hit very hard for four. Where has he been all series? He's been impressive in the two innings he's played in this match. Rory decides that he'll emulate his buddy Kyle Abbott and bowl around the wicket rather to Imran Farhat.
No ball to start from Abbott, they pick up two off it as well. He's overstepped twice this morning so far. Still around the wicket to Farhat; he whips one nicely off his hips. Dale Steyn gives chase, look how quick he is! Whips that throw back in to AB, and they'll get two runs. Great work in the field from SA's premier fast bowler to cut that off. Full and legside is the last delivery, and Azhar deftly glances it square to pick up another couple. A little bit of an expensive over, that.
Nasty bounce from Rory, but it was angling down towards Azhar and he evades it well, getting his hands high out of the way. Another maiden, 190 runs behind are the tourists.
Abbott decides to go around the wicket to the left-handed Imran Farhat, and the batsman misses one that didn't bounce nearly as much as we've seen so far this morning. Kyle will be hoping that this change of angle will be the undoing of Farhat. The batsman gets forward to the next one, and cracks the bat with the impact. Short break in play here as he has to change it, and here comes someone from the dressing-room with two new options for him. He picks one with a yellow grip on the handle to replace his old red one - some players can be very specific about having exactly the same bat to replace the old one - clearly Farhat is not one of them. Next one also stays a bit low and swings past the off-stump - oooh, worrying that for the batsmen but South Africa won't mind one bit. Next one spits up at the batsmen, and he does well to fend it down - very difficult for him now to know how this ball is going to react. Good line from Abbott - this is going to be tough for Farhat.
Fiery bouncer from Rory, and Imran unsuccessfully tries to hook it and misses completely. The bowler won't mind seeing that, but he will mind seeing the left-hander go back and clip him into the on-side for three runs - it was a bit fuller, that next delivery. A lazy waft outside off from Azhar elicits a gasp from the crowd in the stands and on the lovely grass banks here. Azhar leaves much better for the rest of the over, shouldering arms to some steeplers courtesy of the Cobras fast man.
The deficit is under 200 now for the Pakistanis, but they still have a long way to go to make South Africa bat again. Azhar plays a compact on-drive to one that was a little too straight from Abbott, and he gets four runs as his reward. Lovely to watch.
At the other end, Rory is also asking questions - beautiful length ball bounces and eludes the edge as Farhat attempts a drive off the back foot. He's had enough and breaks the shackles, pulling well to the mid-wicket boundary. No-one out there, and he gets himself four runs - great cracking sound from the bat on ball as he pulled it away. A bit shorter from Kleinveldt, and he needs to try and get his length a bit more consistent to trouble the batsmen. Time for drinks here at Supersport Park in Centurion.
He's causing problems, Abbott, and getting good bounce to boot. He hits Azhar on the leg, but it was too high to be out - awkward delivery to deal with. Azhar gets an inside edge on another that thuds into his leg and down, not far away from the stumps. Threatening, pacy maiden over.
Kleinveldt replaces Dale Steyn. He's got four slips in there to the left-handed Farhat. Big shout from Rory for LBW, but it pitched outside leg and they're not going to refer it. Might have been a tad high too - Kleinveldt got very, very excited there but it wasn't to be. Decent start to his spell.
Here's the first bowling change, and we have the hero from yesterday's play: it's the Dolphins' Kyle Abbott. Seven wickets for him yesterday and he starts with a straight one that raps Azhar on the pads - is that out? Oh dear, he's overstepped, it's a no-ball! There may have been an inside edge as well...already a threat from Abbott, just two deliveries into his spell. They rotate the strike and Farhat nudges one down behind square where Hashim Amla races after it. They get 2 runs, and the fifty comes up for Pakistan.
Woah - that took off from Steyn and had Farhat flashing outside off. That was quick too, nearly 142km/h. Dangerous that; plays the next one off the back foot and punches one to point. Robbie P dives again and whips the ball back in a flash to prevent the single. Bowlers, and especially the fast men, love to see the fielders throwing themselves around to save them a single. Another one that rears up, and AB is taking them above his shoulder. Farhat does well on the last ball, cutting sharply off the back foot to the square boundary; good shot, four runs to you sir!
Three slips in place for Azhar - we've seen some quality slip-catching in this Test series from the likes of Smith, Kallis and Alviro Petersen. Vernon not afraid to throw in the odd bouncer, but Azhar Ali is leaving well.
Bit short and down leg from Steyn and Younus clips it off his thigh for four. No, it's been signalled as leg-byes. Steyn needs to be conscious of his line to the veteran Younus here, and - OH! He's out! What a ball from Steyn. How's that for changing your line! Short of a length on middle. It squared Younus up, took the edge and Graeme Smith at first smith gobbles that up easily for yet another catch this summer! What a blow to Pakistan. They're three-down now, and Imran Farhat strides to the crease. He's coming in lower down this innings after being rapped on the finger in his side's first innings. He doesn't waste much time, straight-drive that goes through mid-on for four. Always a beautiful shot to watch, the straight-drive.
Younis takes one off Philander's first ball by opening the face, and Azhar defends stoically. Getting forward nicely, straight bat - he's a good player. He gets a fuller one on middle and leg and leans forward to play it beautifully in front of mid-wicket. The outfield is pretty quick, and Rory Kleinveldt dives in vain - four runs. Lovely shot. Pakistan now are 218 runs behind the Proteas - still plenty of work to be done.
Nicely timed defence from Azhar, middle of the bat. He ducks under a bumper from the Phalaborwa Express, and middles one nicely to point where Robin Peterson dives to stop it, to the delight of the crowd. Nice intensity from the Proteas in the field so far this morning. It's a maiden for Dale Steyn.
Trying to rotate the strike well, these two, and they manage to take two off this Vern over without too much fuss.
Steyn gets some amazing lateral movement from the first ball - seemed to hit a crack and moved appreciably. Unplayable! His pace is slowly increasing ball by ball, and he's almost hit the 140km/h mark already. Good line to keep Azhar honest, but he strays onto leg and the batsmen glances that off his thigh for a well-played four.
Vernon starts with a bouncer that Younus is able to duck under comfortably. Oh dear - five wides now, and AB didn't have a hope there as it was bounced in short and sailed far over his head. Vern looking to test Younus here, but he's leaving well and isn't troubled in this over.
In steams Dale Steyn; how angry was he last night when that LBW appeal was turned down by Billy Bowden as well as the DRS? Could have sworn I saw steam coming out of his ears. They take a single off the over, and keep the batsmen on their toes by getting a direct hit on the stumps - luckily Younus and Azhar had decided not to take a run in the end. SA looking sharp!
Pakistan are away this morning; four runs off the first over from Big Vern. Looking to play positively, Azhar Ali works the paceman to mid-wicket and square-leg to pick up a brace of twos. He's looking good so early on.
Hello and welcome to our over-by-over commentary on day three of the third and final Test between South Africa and Pakistan in Centurion.