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SA tighten the screws on Pakistan

South Africa marched towards setting a stiff target for Pakistan in the second Test on Wednesday.

The visitors were 154-2 at stumps on day three — enjoying an overall lead of 305 runs with captain Graeme Smith batting on 75 and in-form Jacques Kallis not out on 37.

Pakistan — already trailing 1-0 in the two-match series — suffered a big blow when fast bowler Mohammad Asif bowled only four overs in the second innings before he was sidelined due to elbow injury.

”He will see the doctor tomorrow [Thursday] and only then we can say whether he will take further part in this Test or not,” manager Talat Ali said.

Smith completed his first half century of the series, hitting 11 boundaries and Kallis, who has already scored 155, an unbeaten 100 and 59 in the previous three Test innings, played some attractive drives in his undefeated knock.

They added 88 runs in an unbroken two-hour partnership as the day’s play ended due to fading light seven overs before the scheduled close.

Earlier, fast bowler Makhaya Ntini (3-42) grabbed three wickets in one over just before lunch to help restrict Pakistan to 206 — 151 runs adrift of South Africa’s respectable total of 357.

Left-arm spinner Paul Harris finished with 3-57 as he wrapped up Pakistan’s disappointing innings in the first over after lunch when last man Asif was caught close to the wicket.

Ntini spliced through the tail late in the first session by dismissing Misbah-ul-Haq (41) and Umar Gul off successive deliveries.

Misbah played a reckless drive and edged behind the wicket while Gul was out plumb lbw.

Danish Kaneria survived the hat-trick ball, but two balls later he nicked to Mark Boucher — the wicketkeeper’s 400th Test dismissal.

Pakistan made a disastrous start to the third day after they resumed on the overnight 140-4.

Inzamam-ul-Haq (14) could last for only six deliveries in his farewell Test before edging Kallis to Boucher in the second over of the morning.

The burly 37-year-old added four more runs to his overnight score and needed another six runs in the second innings to break Javed Miandad’s Pakistan Test record of 8 832 runs.

Kallis tied down Pakistan’s lower order in an impressive spell of seven overs in which he gave away only seven runs and grabbed the prized scalp of Inzamam off his fourth delivery.

Captain Shoaib Malik failed to keep Dale Steyn’s (2-60) short delivery down and looped the ball to Amla at forward short leg as Pakistan lost two key wickets for the addition of only 10 runs.

Misbah and Rehman (25 not out) added 39 runs in one and a half hours against some tidy South African bowling before Ntini — introduced late in the session — dealt the triple blow in his second over.

South Africa won the first Test by 160 runs last week and are looking for their first away Test series win against a major subcontinent opponent in the last seven years. — Sapa-AP

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