Tea Pakistan 206 and 282 for 4 (Yousuf 48*, Malik 2*) need 175 more runs to beat South Africa 357 and 305 for 4 dec
Younis Khan's second century in as many Tests boosted Pakistan to 282 for 4 at tea on the final day, leaving them with an improbable 175 more for a series-levelling win. A draw or a South African win are more likely outcomes with the pitch assisting more turn with every passing over.
South Africa struck twice in the second session: ending Younis' battling 130 before bringing an abrupt end to Inzamam-ul-Haq's international career. The anti-climax of the day came a few minutes before tea when Inzamam, two short of Javed Miandad's Pakistan record for the most number of Test runs, charged left-arm spinner Paul Harris, only to be stumped by a few feet. As South Africa celebrated, Inzamam walked off to a guard of honour from his side and brought down the curtains on a resplendent career.
Younis shone through the rest of the day. Resuming on 48, he showed no sign of reining back his aggressive instincts. He brought up his fifty with a streaky four, driving away from his body in the third over of the day, before celebrating by crashing the next ball through covers for another four. He chanced his arm against Jacques Kallis: two airy scoops beat the short midwicket fielder set specifically for that shot. He enjoyed a large slice of luck when on 83, popping one straight to short midwicket only for Hashim Amla to spill the simplest of chances.
He was forced to slow down once Harris was introduced, keeping the batsmen quiet with a defensive line from over the wicket, but occasionally attempted slog sweeps and innovative paddles. He was quick to pounce on anything off length, tucking anything slightly short in front of square, but preferred to play him out and take the attack to the rest. It required Kallis to go round the wicket to induce an error; Younis nicking to the wicketkeeper while going for a flash.
Harris was responsible for South Africa's only success of the morning, forcing an indiscreet shot from Kamran Akmal. Pitching one outside leg and spinning it away, he lured Akmal into trying a tame whip, only resulting in an inside edge that spun back onto the stumps. He was to extract more spin as the day wore on and often foxed batsmen with deliveries that spun sharply past the outside edge.
Yousuf's was a risk-free, stodgy innings, preferring caution to adventure. He occasionally cashed in on the loose offerings but didn't try anything fancy. His 127-ball 48 held the innings together and it's him, and Shoaib Malik alongside, who will need to ensure safety. Anything more will require something special.