South Africa take first innings lead over Pakistan

South Africa moved into a first innings lead during a tense second morning of the second Test against Pakistan at Newlands. AFP/GIANLUIGI GUERCIA

South Africa moved into a first innings lead during a tense second morning of the second Test against Pakistan at Newlands. AFP/GIANLUIGI GUERCIA

South Africa moved into a first innings lead during a tense second morning of the second Test against Pakistan at Newlands on Friday.

South Africa were 188 for four wickets at lunch, a lead of 11 runs.

The hosts lost two wickets and could score only 65 runs in 27 overs against some hostile, accurate bowling.

South Africa also benefitted, for the second time in successive Tests, from a television umpire overturning a catch decision by the on-field umpires.

Hashim Amla did not add to his overnight score of 24 before he was bowled by a ball from Mohammad Abbas which snaked back off the pitch to hit his leg stump.

Theunis de Bruyn played a loose drive and was caught at gully off Shaheen Afridi after making 13.

Captain Faf du Plessis (33 not out) and Temba Bavuma (15 not out) survived until lunch.

Bavuma appeared to have been caught by Azhar Ali at first slip off Abbas when he was on three and the total was 156 for four. On-field umpires Bruce Oxenford and Joel Wilson conferred and asked television umpire Sunderam Ravi to check whether the ball hit the ground before a clean catch was completed. Oxenford gave a “soft” signal of “out”.

After looking at numerous replays Ravi overturned the on-field decision because it appeared the ball had touched the ground.

The incident was similar to one at a critical stage of the first Test in Centurion, also involving Azhar Ali, when Dean Elgar survived against Shaeen Afridi after Wilson reversed the on-field decision. A consensus of television commentators was that there was no conclusive evidence to justify Wilson’s decision.

On Thursday, though, the footage suggested Ravi made the correct call, notwithstanding the conflict between two-dimensional images and three-dimensional reality.

 

 

 

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