Attacking Approach Sees South Africa Off to Bright Start

JOHANNESBURG – South Africa opener Aiden Markram made an attacking start to the third test against Pakistan with a rapid 78 not out as the hosts went to lunch on 108 for one wicket at the Wanderers in Gauteng on Friday.

South Africa’s Aiden Markram in action REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

Markram’s availability for the last test of the series was only confirmed after a late fitness test but he showed no signs of discomfort as he rushed to his half century in 72 balls and continued to strike with confidence.

South Africa’s stand-in captain Dean Elgar won the toss and elected to bat but was out in only the second over, caught behind off Mohammad Abbas for five.

Elgar, leading the team after the suspension of Faf du Plessis, hung his bat out as he felt for the ball and got a healthy edge in a good start for Pakistan, who made three changes after losing the first two tests.

But Markram and Hashim Amla, 22 not out at lunch, put together a partnership of 102 runs from 158 balls to vindicate the decision to bat on a docile-looking surface and will be looking to continue amassing the runs after lunch.

Don’t miss Carte Blanche this weekend when Derek Watts sits down for exclusive interviews with Kagiso Rabada and Ngidi Lungi. “They’re on the frontline of South Africa’s bowling attack and these young cricketers have been touted to become some of the best players in the world,” says Carte Blanche.

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(Reporting by Mark Gleeson; Editing by Greg Stutchbury, Christian Radnedge and Jenni Baxter)