CAPE TOWN – Faf du Plessis and Temba Bavuma shared a century partnership as South Africa moved into a commanding position on the second day of the second Test against Pakistan at Newlands on Friday.
The Proteas were 281/4 wickets at tea, a lead of 104 runs.
South African captain Du Plessis, out for a “pair” during the six-wicket win in the first Test in Centurion, was on 80 not out, the highest score of the series.
Bavuma had 60 not out. Their fifth-wicket partnership was worth 132 runs.
The batsmen had to counter some accurate, hostile bowling before lunch when Pakistan took two wickets during the first hour, and thought they had a third when Bavuma, on three, edged Mohammad Abbas to Azhar Ali at first slip.
The on-field umpires gave a “soft” signal of “out”, but asked for television umpire Sunderam Ravi to check whether there had been a clean catch.
He decided the ball had made contact with the ground while the catch was being taken.
Batting was not easy, with several cracks widening on the pitch, including one on a good length outside the right-handers’ off-stump, which probably contributed to the wickets of Aiden Markram off the last ball on Thursday and Hashim Amla in the second over on Friday.
Both Du Plessis and Bavuma batted cautiously before lifting the tempo during the afternoon.
Du Plessis had faced 162 balls by tea, while Bavuma had faced 127.
Pakistan took the second new ball in the penultimate over before tea.