Sometime tomorrow, possibly early in the morning, South Africa will win the second Test. Victory against Pakistan will extend their winning sequence to seven consecutive home series conquests and the record will show that they have also won 18 of their past 20 Tests on Mzansi soil.
The fact that South Africa need to come back and score the 41 runs required was partially due to a comical last hour and the defiance of three top-order half-centuries from Shan Masood, Asad Shafiq and Babar Azam.
After showing neither the wit nor the will to play their way out of trouble in their previous three innings on this tour of South Africa, Pakistan’s batsmen dug deep to keep a rampant home team attack at bay.
It certainly was required after Dale Steyn and Kagiso Rabada had once again reduced the visitors to 16/2, which was light years away from making the home side bat again after the Proteas had earlier taken a 254-run first innings lead.
But Masood, who has been one of the tourists’ rare positives on this tour, and the experienced Shafiq batted with grit, resolve and no little flair to push onwards to a 132-run stand for Pakistan’s third wicket. It was also Pakistan’s first three-figure partnership of the series.