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Live Commentary: South Africa vs. Pakistan: First Test, day three - as it happened

Live text commentary from day three of the first Test between South Africa and Pakistan.
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South Africa started the third day of the first Test against Pakistan in control following a dominant display on Saturday.

AB de Villiers (103*) and Hashim Amla (74*) continued their partnership in the morning session before Graeme Smith decided to declare on 275-3, a lead of 479 runs.

The Proteas took early wickets and Pakistan looked on the verge of defeat at 82-4 early in the afternoon session.

However, an unbroken partnership of 101 from Misbah-ul-Haq (44*) and Asad Shafiq (53*) ensured that Pakistan reached stumps on 183-4, needing 297 more runs for a stunning triumph.

Read below to find out how the drama unfolded on day three.


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Hello everyone and welcome to the third day of this first Test match. If I was a betting man, and I am, I'd bank on this being the final day with yesterday's utter dominance from South Africa.

The big decision yesterday was whether South Africa should have enforced the follow-on. They wouldn't have been thinking about it before Pakistan's innings, but proceeded to bowl out their visitors for 49 runs. Smith decided against it and instead wanted his side to prove their batting.

I did say after the first day that, although South Africa's 253 seemed below par, we'd need wait for Pakistan's response. If SA's was below par then there are no words for Pakistan's 49.

Mohammed Hafeez had great figures of 4-16 as he tore through the Proteas lower order, but again South Africa bettered Pakistan as Dale Steyn took six wickets for just eight runs!

We're 15 minutes away from the start of this morning session. I suspect South Africa will come out flying, see if Hashim Amla and AB de Villiers can reach hundreds and then declare with a 500-plus lead.

The partnership passed 100 not long before the end of yesterday and they looked in very little danger of getting out.

Pakistan's 49 was their lowest ever total in a Test match, coming out of the blue after their bowling attack impressed on day one. It was also their sixth sub-100 total since just 2009.

Not long now until the day's play is underway.

The players are just doing their pre-match talks, the sun is out, the crowd is gathering. Just about ready for some more quality Test cricket.

Umar Gul has been the pick of the Pakistan bowlers so far, with 2-25, and he will open today. De Villiers nicks a single to the leg side. Gul puts in a good, shorter ball that Amla does well to avoid at the last moment - shoulder height that one, the perfect bouncer. Just one run from the first over of the day.

Junaid Khan comes in from the other end. There is a 90% chance of rain tomorrow, the forecast is telling us. That might urge Smith into an earlier declaration. After a couple of watchful strokes De Villiers drives through point for a good four.

De Villiers again gets a single to move on to 70 from just 93 balls. Amla chops slightly in the air, but it's safe and away to the backward point boundary for four. He follows up with a shot through mid-off that was pure timing, using Gul's pace to push it to the boundary. Two more come off the final ball and it's a good over for the Proteas.

They're flowing already; a De Villiers cut is stopped at the rope for two, then he guides a glorious one through the gap between slip and gully to the third man boundary. It's one-day stuff as De Villiers moves across to his right and clips one to leg side for three off a no-ball and Amla follows it up with a pull for four, again from a no-ball. Another pair of singles come and 17 in total from the over, surely the most expensive of the match so far.

Gul continues and De Villiers again plays late through the gap but this time only for a single. Superb running from the batsmen as they trade ones. Gul chucks down a leg-side bouncer, which is called wide, and Amla hooks for a single off the final ball; seven from the over.

Five overs into the day and we see Saeed Ajmal for the first time. Amla takes a single to put the partnership to 150 off 193; superb stuff for a Test match. De Villiers gives himself space again to drive into the off side for a double before pulling out the reverse sweep and taking four runs to third man. There's a shout for catch on his next shot but it was short of Jamshed at cover.

Amla gets his partner back on strike with an early single from Gul's next over. The bowler is called wide again with another bouncer that is too high and De Villiers pinches a single after nearly clipping on to his stumps the previous ball.

De Villiers mishits one down the ground but picks up two, then takes a single with a push to the leg side. Pakistan are already well over their highest fourth innings total. They are 469 behind with their highest being 343-3 against South Africa in Dubai, 2010. They already seem deflated, worryingly.

CENTURY FOR DE VILLIERS: Superb drive right down the ground from De Villiers for four, there's no stopping shots like that. He moves on to 99 with that favoured glance to third man and Amla sends him back to the crease with a single. He picks out the fielder in the covers but there's no stopping the next one, a cracking drive through the same spot for four and his 15th Test 100.

DECLARATION: And with that, Smith has seen enough. He calls his batsmen in with their lead of 479. These two have done exactly what was required of them, scoring 68 runs off nine over at a rate of 7.56!

So, Pakistan require 480 to win this Test match. It's a big total but they have nearly three days left to do it. The bigger question, though, is are they capable? Looking at that first innings you'd have to think not.

It's incredible to think we're only at the start of day three. Dale Steyn and pals will be ready to go now, they want to finish early today and have another two days off.

If Smith had waited just a little longer, De Villiers might have moved his average above 50. It's currently at 49.97. That was a really incredible century for him.

Hafeez and Jamshed come to the crease. Will this be over by lunch? I hope not, after how competitive that first day was.

Naturally it's Steyn with the ball with his less than 23 average. Immediate outswing at pace from him - that is so hard to deal with. Hafeez clips to leg for a single. Jamshed latches on to a half-volle offered by Steyn and pushes it through mid-off for four. A solid start for Pakistan, who now need 475.

Vernon Philander to bowl from the other end. Hafeez swats away for a single off the first ball. Jamshed is cautious to the consistent line and length of Philander but deals with it well for the remaining five balls.

Steyn getting some good swing here, with the odd straighter one thrown in. Hafeez is watchful. He doesn't need to play at anything side of his stumps, he does have three days after all.

WICKET! Hafeez (2) c De Villiers b Philander

Philander almost gets one through the gate of the left-handed Jamshed, but the batsman just closes it at the last minute. A leg-bye gets him off strike and from the following delivery Hafeez edges leg side to De Villiers behind. Big trouble for Pakistan as Azhar Ali comes to the crease.

Steyn starts his next over with a superb bouncer to unsettle Jamshed but the batsman responds well by clipping off his pads for two and swivelling to pull for another one.

Streaky four for Jamshed as he edges one with a low bounce through the slip cordon to the boundary. He gets a single before Azhar follows suit with one of his own.

Steyn continues to mix up his length, but Ali is equal to the bouncer, getting underneath it well. The Pakistan number three appears reluctant to go for runs. That's not an issue at the moment but it could if they start needing to pick up the pace.

Morne Morkel comes in to replace Philander in the first SA bowling change. He gets one to bounce from a full length, but Jamshed responds with a wonderful drive through mid-off. The debutant has 16 from 28 so far, much more positive from Pakistan at the moment.

Steyn continues for over number five. He tries a couple of short one that get very little bounce; Azhar ducks out of the way but it still nearly hits him. Another maiden for Steyn.

Some great play from Pakistan in Morkel's next over. Jamshed hits a four, before rotating strike with a single and then Azhar drives beatifully down the ground for four of his own. He follows that with a swing and a miss and the next one doesn't bounce at all and clears the stumps by a matter of inches. Great over of cricket, nine runs come from it.

Jacques Kallis comes in for Steyn and Jamshed gets another edge to go for four. There was no danger of a catch though as he got above it well. Jamshed is solid for the rest of the over and picks up a single off the final ball.

Jamshed is playing well as he picks up another two with a clip off his legs. He's then caught out by a medium bouncer that hits his gloves and drops just short of Elgar at short leg. Jamshed clips a fuller, wider one to the boundary - it wasn't middled, but raced to the deep backward square boundary. He picks up another two to leg side to finish a successful over for him.

Kallis continues and Azhar still looks to dig in. He's happy to leave or block, waiting for the bad ball - but that's not likely to come from Kallis. He ends with a good bouncer and I think there will be one more over before lunch.

LUNCH: A fantastic length delivery from Morkel ends up being thick-edged to the boundary on the off side after Jamshed shaped to flick to leg. He gets a single off his gloves from another difficult bouncer and Azhar sees out the final ball before lunch.

Well that's much better from Pakistan, although they will be disappointed with losing one wicket. Jamshed has batted superbly, ignoring that they have well over two days to reach 480 and has 39 from 47 balls.

Of course, they still have a huge mountain to climb. A taller one than Everest. But being two runs off their first innings total with nine wickets left is a good start. These two will have to get through the next session unscathed, I would have thought.

While the players are off for lunch I too will take a break. Join me again in around 30 minutes time for what promises to be an interesting second session.

Hello everyone and welcome back to our coverage.

Lunch will be coming to an end before too long and Pakistan will head out to continue their huge chase of 480. They're on 47-1 so far with Jamshed in good nick.

This morning South Africa his a rapid 68 runs from nine overs, with De Villiers getting to his century before Smith declared. Pakistan have another 433 to win, but they've already restored pride after the shambles of a first innings.

Here they come. Jamshed will face Philander. He and Ali will want to remain unbeaten this session. They'll need to, in truth.

Just the one run from the first over back after lunch, the first ball clipped away by Jamshed.

Steyn comes back into the attack and Jamshed again nicks an early single. Azhar leaves a wide outswinger but is then forced to defend a straight, full one. Jamshed is on 41 off 49 but Azhar has just five runs from 37.

Jamshed hits a single off the first ball and Azhar is then done by an absolute peach from Philander. The ball does too much off the seam and just goes past the edge. Ali then gets three with an edge through slips, superb bowling from Philander.

Stale gets another go at Azhar and this time has him pinned back on his crease with a ferocious display of fast bowling - pitching in a superb bouncer before the batsman takes two with a cut to the off side.

Jamshed strikes a lovely four through extra cover, before Philander follows it up with a wicket outswinger across the line that has the batsman waggling at this air. He's on 46 now and deserves the 50 should he get it.

Steyn continues with Azhar staying solid in defence, refusing to be ruffled by Steyn's pace, despite an attempted bouncer staying low and grazing his helmet. He then responds with a textbook cover drive, good batting.

Philander comes around the wicket to Jamshed, who is stuck defending as a maiden whizzes by. He's incredibly hard to score runs off, Philander, and a huge part of this Proteas attack.

WICKET! Jamshed (46) c Peterson b Steyn

Now Steyn pins back Ali. He nicks a single and Jamshed attemps to pull a slightly short one but gets it all wrong, picking out Alviro Peterson at short mid-wicket. He really needed to stay. Younus Khan in.

Khan survives the final ball of the over and that was the wicket South Africa needed. Jamshed was in good form but threw his wicket away. The task has just become even harder for the visitors. This could yet be over by the end of the day.

Philander runs in with purpose to the nervy Azhar. He catches the edge but it didn't have enough bounce and drops short of Smith at slip. Azhar cuts one through a gap in the off side to pick up two runs, the only ones off the over.

Younus gets himself off the mark with a glance off his pads and then Azhar goes after a quicker, bouncier one which just misses the inside edge down leg side. He gets off strike, but returns a ball later as Younus looks to keep the score ticking. Azhar is still nervous and almost gloves one to short leg but survives a good Steyn over.

That's all you're getting from me, folks. Callum Mulvihill is here to see you through the rest of the day's play. Over to you, Callum.

Thanks Matt, let's get straight back to the action.

Wicket! Azhar (18) lbw b Kallis

Kallis gets one to swing back beautifully and Azhar's stubborn defence is finally beaten. Important wicket, Misbah in next.

One from the over and Kallis has once again delivered for the Proteas. Pakistan have two very experienced players at the crease but their task looks close to impossible now.

Good running from the Pakistan pair, as Younus collects two to mid-off. Steyn is persisting with his approach from around the wicket and it almost pays off when Younus prods the ball just short of Rudolph at short leg. The same batsman will keep the strike thanks to a push to deep mid-wicket.

So close to another wicket for Kallis. Younus is struck on the pads by a beauty of a delivery but is given not out. Smith decides to review the decision but hawkeye confirms it as umpire's call. The misery is piled on a ball later when Younus creams the ball through the cover for four runs. A single to fine leg ends an eventful over.

Morkel begins a new spell with a short and wide delivery but Younus is closer to edging the ball than he is to giving it the treatment it deserved. The pace bowler adjusts his line and completes an impressive maiden over.

Kallis continues to keep the pressure on Pakistan as he races through a maiden over against the edgy looking Misbah. The hosts will be eyeing a couple more wickets before lunch.

Younus does well to get on top of a Morkel short ball, cutting through the gap between point and gully to earn four runs.

Wicket! Younus (15) c de Villiers b Morkel

Morkel removes Younus and this could well spark the collapse for the tourists. The right-hander is caught in two minds outside off stump and sends the faintest of edges into the grateful hands of de Villiers.

Kallis is probing away outside Misbah's off stump and the visiting skipper doesn't look confident leaving the ball. It's yet another maiden over from the experienced all-rounder.

Morkel loses his accuracy a little in the new over and fails to threaten Shafiq. The new batsman is off the mark with a flick to fine leg for four runs before adding two more with a push down the ground.

Misbah finally earns his first run with a cut shot past point for four runs. It's a rare loose ball from Kallis and he quickly settles back into his groove with five deliveries just outside off stump.

Morkel has his hands on his head after a Shafiq edge drops agonisingly short of Smith at first slip. Four runs come from the end of the over courtesy of a perfectly timed whip through mid-wicket.

Peterson is brought into the attack and this could be a good move from Smith just before tea. Misbah negotiates the over well, blocking out a maiden.

When he gets it right, Morkel can be devastating but he seems to have lost some of the threat he was carrying earlier. Shafiq looks comfortable and he only puts bat on ball once in the over.

Misbah can bat for long periods and he looks intent on doing so today. Peterson sends down another maiden but there's not much encouragement for the spinner.

There's another bowling change as Philander replaces Morkel with the ball. Misbah defends well before nudging the ball to square leg for the first single in almost five overs.

Shafiq rocks back to push the ball off his pads for two runs, bringing up three figures for Pakistan in the process. Good variation of pace in the over by Peterson but Shafiq survives.

Misbah almost picks out Amla with a slightly miscued pull shot but the ball does find the gap and he adds four runs to the total. Philander brings one back into the right-hander but an inside edge prevents any realistic lbw appeal. Misbah then flirts with the ball outside off stump, good over from Philander.

Tea: The players walk off the field, with Smith certainly the happier of the two captains. Shafiq and Misbah have battled well but it seems inevitable that the Proteas will find the six wickets they need to win.

Steyn's next spell could be crucial. If Pakistan can survive against the seamer, they may well take this game into Monday. However, a couple of early wickets for Steyn could spell the end tonight.

We're just a couple of minutes away from play now. Big session, can South Africa claim victory tonight?

It is Steyn who begins the final session with the ball in his hand. Shafiq drives at the ball and the South African players are left groaning when the ball drops short of Rudolph at gully. It's a maiden and the pressure is back on the tourists.

Misbah's defensive shot squirms through a gap on the off-side and the Pakistan duo run a single from Philander's first ball. Shafiq is happy to block against the accurate swing bowler and it's just the one run from the over.

Steyn swings one away from Misbah and there is a noise. There's a few stifled appeals but Smith dismisses Steyn's pleas to review the not out decision. Another Steyn appeal follows later in the over but there's a clear inside edge from Misbah.

Philander is bowling with some great rhythm today, shaping the ball away from both the right-handed players. Shafiq attempts a wild cut outside off stump but he manages to avoid edging the ball to the slips. Maiden over.

Steyn is showing his class now, it's another good over from the leader of the attack. Misbah nudges the ball through mid-wicket to earn two runs and end the recent drought.

Philander gets one to straighten and hit Shafiq on the pads. Billy Bowden shakes his head at the lbw appeals and it's a good decision, with replays proving that it was too high. Three leg byes are taken to third man, with Peterson preventing a fourth with a good piece of fielding.

Good accuracy shown by Steyn again and he forces Shafiq to take evasive action when he fires in a sharp bouncer. Maiden from Steyn and Smith may be tempted to bring Kallis into the attack soon.

It's Peterson who comes on to replace Philander. The spinner is worked away on the leg-side for a single early in the over. Shafiq doesn't look confident against the slower bowler but he does survive.

Steyn's impressive spell comes to an end and Morkel is thrown the ball. The intimidating seamer is too wide throughout the over and Misbah can't be tempted into a false shot.

Shafiq uses his feet well to push the ball to mid-on for a single. Peterson strays too straight later in the over and Misbah takes advantage, sweeping the ball away for four runs.

Shafiq is looking more comfortable at the crease in this session and he does well to get off strike early in Morkel's over with a nudge to mid-wicket. Misbah adds another with a push onto the off-side before Shafiq plays and misses a wide one from Morkel.

Peterson is giving the ball a lot of flight in an attempt to force Misbah into a big shot. The skipper struggles to find the gap, picking out the fielders at mid-on and mid-off before eventually finding a single down the ground.

Misbah moves into the twenties with a late cut through a vacant space on the off-side, superb shot from the skipper. A short ball challenges Misbah on the pads but his shot drops short of Amla at leg gully. Shafiq shows his captain how to do it with four through mid-wicket to end the over.

Probably Peterson's best over since tea, as he forces Misbah to come forward before making him defend on the back foot. Better from the spinner but the tourists look much more comfortable against the slower bowler.

Morkel is punished for bowling a freebie outside off stump, with Shafiq crunching the ball through extra cover for four. That's the fifty partnership between these two and it's been hard work. Shafiq reaches the rope again, clipping the ball off his toes through the leg-side. Nine from the over for Pakistan.

Peterson thinks he has his man when Shafiq gloves the ball but Elgar can't react quickly enough at short leg. The batsman decides it's time to have some fun and he manages to lob the ball over Amla at mid-off, collecting four runs.

Smith is keeping faith with Morkel, for now. The seamer hasn't been consistent enough since tea but does complete a maiden over.

Strange shot from Misbah as he swings wildly at a full delivery but an inside edge saves the skipper from being bowled. A short ball allows the batsman to earn two runs to deep square leg, with Amla doing the hard work in the field. A wide half-volley allows Misbah to free his arms to smash the ball through the covers for four runs.

Much better from Morkel, who finds a nice line just outside off stump. A delivery aimed at just back of a length allows Shafiq to clip the ball onto the leg-side for a single and that's the only blemish to the over.

The players are taking a drinks break and the match referee appears to have brought on some snacks for the lads. It's all very friendly out there.

Peterson continues his spell and a loose half-tracker allows Shafiq to rock back before pulling the ball through square leg for four. There is a hint of turn for the spinner towards the end of the over but it's safely negotiated by the batsman.

Kallis is back to replace the ineffective Morkel. Misbah earns a couple with a thick edge down to third man before resorting back to his defensive ways. Good return from South Africa's all-rounder.

Philander is into the attack and his arrival nearly brings a wicket when Shafiq inside edges the ball just past his off stump. Shafiq's luck continues a couple of deliveries later when he looks to have been dismissed after edging the ball to Smith. However, Billy Bowden checks the replay and Philander has overstepped the mark. The bowler is furious and Shafiq makes his way back out to the middle.

Chance! Kallis invites the drive from Misbah but Peterson fails to take the catch at point. Poor from Peterson and he'll be disappointed there. It's the second stroke of luck in as many overs for Pakistan and South Africa's frustration continues. Misbah piles on the misery by pushing the ball through the covers for a boundary to end the over.

Philander finds the edge again but Shafiq plays the shot with soft hands to prevent the ball from carrying to the slips. A short delivery follows and Shafiq pulls into a gap on the leg-side to pick up three runs. Philander hits the pads at the end of the over but Bowden shakes his head and Misbah survives. Replays prove that there was a big inside edge involved.

Kallis continues his spell and he's worked away for a single to mid-wicket by Shafiq. De Villiers takes a superb diving catch down the leg-side but any noise was not from the bat or glove of Misbah.

Philander is still looking dangerous and he once again catches the edge but Shafiq's attempted block drops short of gully. The same batsman opens the face at the end of the over, guiding the ball through third man for four runs.

Kallis has bowled slightly shorter during this spell and he finds some nice bounce to Misbah. A wider delivery allows the batsman to open his shoulders and cut in front of gully to pick up four runs. Impressive batting from the skipper.

Shafiq copies his captain's shot by cutting the ball powerfully to the boundary rope and that's a superb half-century in difficult circumstances. Philander responds well, sending down five dot balls in a row.

Misbah is happy to take a single at the start of a new over from Kallis. The game is creeping to the close of play now and South Africa seem to have lost the spring in their step.

Smith decides Steyn should have a short burst before stumps as the Proteas go in search of a breakthrough. Misbah guides the ball through cover to claim a single. There's a hint of reverse swing but not enough to trouble Shafiq.

Morkel is back for a new spell and he starts with a front foot no ball, which looks harsh on replay. Elgar does brilliantly at point to stop Misbah's powerful drive but nothing can be done when the visiting skipper picks up a single to mid-wicket. Morkel sends down a great yorker but Shafiq does well to keep the ball out.

Brilliant timing from Misbah to push the ball in front of point to collect a single. Shafiq has applied himself brilliantly throughout the day and he does well to keep out the dangerous Steyn.

Morkel pleads with a catch to be taken when Misbah sends a pull shot straight into the air but Elgar can't make up the required ground and the skipper survives. That brings up the century partnership between this duo and the Pakistan dressing room applauds loudly with approval. Shafiq adds another run before Misbah strikes a cut shot directly to point.

Steyn has once again performed admirably but he is missing the luck needed at this stage of the day. Maiden over and Morkel will now bowl the final six balls of the day.

Close of play: Misbah has no intention of giving up his wicket now and he defends well throughout the over. Morkel sighs in frustration but that's it for today.

After setting such a huge total, South Africa will have wanted more than four wickets by stumps. However, Misbah (44*) and Shafiq (53*) have delayed what still looks like an inevitable victory for the Proteas.

That's it for our coverage today but make sure you return tomorrow morning as South Africa continue their pursuit of a win in this intriguing first Test. Thanks for joining me, goodbye.

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