Bob Woolmer, the Pakistan coach, has expressed surprise over the pitch at Newlands on which the fourth innings was being played at the end of day two.
At stumps South Africa were at 36 for 2 needing 125 more to win. With day three certain to produce a result, Woolmer agreed South Africa were favourites but he insisted Pakistan would certainly be trying. "We would be stupid to come here tomorrow thinking we had lost the game."
On the first day Pakistan were bowled out for 157 with Makhaya Ntini and Jacques Kallis getting four wickets each. South Africa batted for the 39 overs remaining in the day and lost five wickets.
On the second day 17 wickets fell as Pakistan wrapped up the South African first innings in 14 overs and then proceeded to be bowled out for 186 inside 52 overs themselves. Graeme Smith was at the other end when Paul Harris, the nightwatchman, was trapped leg before by Danish Kaneria off the last ball of the day.
"With 32 wickets in two days, it's either extremely bad batting, wonderful bowling or something slightly wrong with the pitch," said Woolmer. The pitch was not reported to the ICC, Woolmer said, because it hadn't turned dangerously. He also felt that though the pitch was difficult Pakistan had batted poorly in the second innings.
"The odd ball is unplayable and then you get out trying to score runs off a ball that is pretty mediocre. You don't often get these games. Specifically in Test cricket you shouldn't get these games because in Test cricket you should be more disciplined in the way you bat."
Woolmer said that though he was an advocate of results in Test cricket he understood that financial implications were high when there was no cricket for two-and-a-half days.
Dale Steyn, the South African fast bowler, was optimistic about South Africa's chances of winning the series. "All we need tomorrow is one or two semi-partnerships and one decent partnerships and we should wrap it up soon after lunch."