A measured counter-attack by South Africa’s batsmen allowed them to dominate an entertaining morning session on the third day of an increasingly tense second test against Pakistan at Newlands.

Although South Africa lost two batsmen to attacking strokes, the team added 109 runs in 28 overs to go to lunch on 248-7 in response to Pakistan’s 338 all out.

A.B. de Villiers’s flashy 61 was a key contribution, while Robin Peterson added 40 not out to keep South Africa on course for first-innings parity.

Although Dean Elgar was caught at slip off the bowling of Ajmal as he attempted an overly aggressive stroke, De Villiers added runs at a good pace and was well supported by Peterson in a 46-run partnership for the seventh wicket. The partnership came to an end when Mohammad Irfan claimed his first test scalp, having De Villiers caught at mid-on in the fifth delivery of the second new ball.

Despite being under pressure after De Villiers’s departure, Peterson continued to bat with freedom as he put on 38 runs with Vernon Philander, who was unbeaten on 11 at lunch.

Brief scores: Pakistan 1st innings 338

South Africa 1st innings – 248 for 7 wickets (AB de Villiers 61 runs, Robin Peterson not out 40; Saeed Ajmal 6 for 76).

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