Controversy hits hard as South Africa closing the victory against Pakistan

Duanne Olivier of South Africa celebrates as he bowls out Imam-ul Haq of Pakistan for 57 runs during day 2 of the 2018/19 Castle Lager Test Series match between South Africa and Pakistan at Super Sport Park Centurion on 27 December 2018

Duanne Olivier of South Africa celebrates as he bowls out Imam-ul Haq of Pakistan for 57 runs during day 2 of the 2018/19 Castle Lager Test Series match between South Africa and Pakistan at Super Sport Park Centurion on 27 December 2018

Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur received an official warning and one demerit point for breaching the ICC Code of Conduct during the third day's play in the first Test, which South Africa won by six wickets at Centurion on Friday. Both Sarfraz Ahmed, the Pakistan captain, and Du Plessis failed to open their account in the first innings of the Centurion Test that began on the Boxing Day.

Those wickets were a touch too late for the Pakistanis as Amla and first innings hero Temba Bavuma guided South Africa to a comfortable six-wicket win to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.

Amla finished a year in which he seldom found top form by making 63 not out.

Pakistan boosted their hopes of an unlikely win on day three when Hasan Ali pinned Proteas opener Aiden Markram lbw for a duck in the second over.

Hasan and Mohammad Amir did not concede a run off the bat until Amla clipped Hasan for four in the sixth over.

The duo survived a testing first hour in the first session and rode their luck after Amla was dropped for 8 and Elgar was lucky not to be given out on replays showing that the ball had carried into the hands of Azhar Ali at first slip off the bowling of Shaheen Shah Afridi.

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There have been at least two crucial incidents that favored the home team.

On-field umpires Bruce Oxenford and Sundaram Ravi pointed an "out" signal before referring to television umpire Joel Wilson indicating they thought it was a clean catch.

Michael Holding, the television commentator was heard criticizing the third umpire's decision.

Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur is seen speaking to players in this FILE image. "The protocol says you have got to be 100 percent sure the decision was wrong to change it", said Holding. "The on-field umpires thought it was out and for me it was a clear catch".

Proteas quick Duanne Oliver caused the most damage in a bowler-dominated first Test, bagging match figures of 11-96 having come into the side for the injured Vernon Philander - a man Du Plessis expects to be fit for Cape Town.

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