sport

Peterson leads Proteas fightback

Pakistan ended day three of an evenly-poised second Test 112 runs ahead of South Africa with seven second-innings wickets intact.

South Africa recovered from 139 for five overnight to 326, a deficit of 12, after Robin Peterson made 84 to add to AB de Villiers' 61.

Dale Steyn and Vernon Philander then each struck in their first over to leave Pakistan seven for two but Azhar Ali and Misbah-ul-Haq led the fightback, putting on 55 to see them to 100 for three.

Saeed Ajmal had ripped through South Africa's top order yesterday and when Dean Elgar (23) edged a loose drive straight to Younus Khan at slip, the spinner had taken all six wickets to fall.

That came just after De Villiers was dropped on 37 by Azhar, a sharp chance at gully, and he pulled Ajmal for his sixth boundary to bring up a 91-ball half-century.

But his innings ended when a leading edge off 7ft 1in paceman Mohammad Irfan spooned straight to Umar Gul at mid-on.

He had put on 55 with Elgar and 46 with Peterson, who then added a further 67 with Philander.

Peterson's second Test half-century came up with back-to-back boundaries off Tanvir Ahmed and he soon pulled Gul for his 10th four, a rare one through the leg side.

Philander dug in for 22 before being cramped by a short ball from Irfan, the ball looping to Nasir Jamshed at gully.

A late cut for four took Peterson to his highest Test score, passing the 61 he made against Bangladesh in May 2003.

And after losing Dale Steyn (10) he cut loose, switch-hitting Ajmal for the first of two boundaries in an over as he surged into the 80s.

Last man Morne Morkel punched Irfan to the backward-point boundary but the innings ended when Peterson lifted Mohammad Hafeez straight to Gul at long-on.

Irfan ended up with three for 86 on his debut while Ajmal took six for 96, but the Proteas' bowlers had a response up their sleeve.

Hafeez was trapped lbw by Steyn with the second ball of the innings and opening partner Nasir Jamshed also failed to trouble the scorers before being pinned in front by Philander.

Azhar and Younus took the score on to 45 before the latter (14) slashed at a wider delivery from Steyn and chopped it on to his stumps.

Azhar and Misbah set about building a patient partnership, which had reached just 10 in 9.2 overs when an injury to Morkel brought forward the drinks break. Morkel limped off struggling with his hamstring, with the over completed by Jacques Kallis.

Misbah's boundary off Kallis brought the first runs in 35 balls and he then broke the shackles to twice loft Peterson down the ground for six.

A third maximum followed with an over remaining, bringing up the 50 partnership and Pakistan's hundred, and he ended the day on 36 not out with Azhar five runs away from a half-century.