Markram and Amla steady Proteas at Bullring
Proteas opener Aiden Markram scored his fifth Test half-century as South Africa went to the lunch break of day one of the third and final match in Johannesburg sitting comfortably on 108/1 after 28 overs.
Markram‚ who was only passed fit to play on Thursday afternoon after he overcame a thigh injury sustained in the New Year’s Test in Cape Town last week‚ took 72 balls and 85 minutes to register his half-century in the 20th over on a Bullring surface that looked good for batting.
His delightful knock included nine boundaries and by lunch was cruising along on 78 off 101 balls‚ while at the other end premier batsman Hashim Amla was slowly finding his rhythm and also unbeaten on 22 off 62.
Markram shared a solid partnership of 102 off 159 with Amla‚ who arrived at the crease after only 10 balls were bowled following the early dismissal of stand-in captain Dean Elgar in the second over.
Elgar‚ deputising for suspended Faf du Plessis‚ perished after 1.4 overs when he attacked a full-length delivery by Pakistan fast bowler Muhammad Abbas only to edge the ball to experienced Sarfraz Ahmed‚ who claimed a comfortable catch behind the stumps.
When Elgar departed‚ South Africa were left on 6/1 but Amla and Markram embarked on a rebuilding mission and they will continue in the second session‚ aiming to continue frustrating the Pakistani bowlers while at the same time increasing the lead.