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Markram helps South African recovery against Pakistan

South Africa batsman Aiden Markram shot 90 as his side struck 226-3 in their third and final test against Pakistan
South Africa batsman Aiden Markram shot 90 as his side struck 226-3 in their third and final test against Pakistan AFP
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Johannesburg (AFP)

Aiden Markram's polished innings of 90 put South Africa on the front foot on the first day of the third and final Test against Pakistan at the Wanderers Stadium on Friday.

South Africa were 226 for three at tea after winning the toss and batting on the best batting pitch of the series.

Markram, who had to pass a fitness test after suffering a badly bruised right thigh while fielding in the second Test in Cape Town, looked set for his fifth Test century until he glanced a ball from medium-paced all-rounder Faheem Ashraf and wicketkeeper Sarfraz Ahmed plucked a good catch diving to his left.

Markram hit 16 boundaries off 124 balls in an innings marked by crisply-struck drives and firm clips to leg. It was the third time in his 15-Test career that he had been dismissed in the nineties.

Hashim Amla (41) helped Markram put on 132 for the second wicket after stand-in captain Dean Elgar was caught behind off Mohammad Abbas for five in the second over.

Theunis de Bruyn (48 not out) and new cap Zubayr Hamza (38 not out) both batted brightly in a fourth wicket stand which was worth 72 off 92 balls at tea.

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