Pakistan hold off South Africa

Last updated 00:56 25/02/2013

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Pakistan held off South Africa in the opening session of the third day of the third test on Sunday, losing just one wicket to go to lunch on 87-2 in its second innings, 166 behind after following on.

Pakistan was still facing a heavy loss and a series whitewash in the three-test contest, but managed to hold back the tide with an unbeaten 32 from Imran Farhat. Dale Steyn took the only wicket of the morning session at Supersport Park, forcing an edge from Younis Khan (11) through to Graeme Smith at first slip.

The South African fast bowler had 2-22 from his nine second-innings overs, but the rest of the Proteas' potent fast bowling attack was kept wicketless to start the third day.

Farhat and opener Azhar Ali ensured Pakistan went to lunch without any further damage, with Farhat hitting four fours in his 32 from 67 balls and Ali, resisting alongside him, on a pitch where numerous deliveries bounced and seamed prodigiously to rear up at the batsmen.

Their unbroken partnership was worth 48. Debutant seam bowler Kyle Abbott took 7-29 on the second day of the final test - the second best test figures by a South African on debut - as Pakistan was bowled out for 156 in its first innings to follow on. South Africa made 409 batting first, led by a century from wicketkeeper batsman AB de Villiers.

Steyn broke through in the eighth over of day three to have Khan caught by South Africa captain Smith. Ali and Farhat dug in to resist for another 20 overs, but the tourists still faced a large deficit and South Africa has more than two and a half days to complete victory and a 3-0 series win.

Top-ranked South Africa is unbeaten in its last 11 test series and has won five in a row after beating Sri Lanka at home a year ago.

The Proteas were also closing in on a second straight whitewash following a 2-0 win over New Zealand last month.

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- AP

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