CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP):South Africa showed some fight in the second Test yesterday, with Hashim Amla’s 157 not out helping cut England’s lead to 276 as the home team reached 353-3 at stumps on the third day.Amla, the South Africa captain, eased the pressure on himself and his top-ranked team with his 24th Test century and first since December 2014.He shared partnerships of 183 with A.B. de Villiers (88) and an unbroken 85 with Faf du Plessis. South Africa lost just one wicket for 212 runs on the day.England, after a huge first-innings total of 629-6 declared, were finding it tough to take wickets on a serene batting pitch at Newlands, which has been so good for the batsmen that 982 runs were scored over three days.”Tricky day for us,” England fast bowler Steven Finn said. “One wicket in a day is obviously not ideal for what we wanted from this day … but we’re still a long way ahead in the game.”England also already lead the four-match series 1-0, leaving South Africa effectively batting to stay alive in the contest.”We were behind the eight ball on day one,” Du Plessis said. “England played really well and we needed a really resilient performance to get back in the Test match and that’s what we did.”England’s lone breakthrough came just before tea when De Villiers, looking to push on, mistimed a pull shot off Finn. The ball flew to James Anderson, who knocked it up in the air at midwicket and completed the catch.Frustratingly for England, both Amla and De Villiers should have been out much earlier but for dropped catches. Joe Root put De Villiers down at slip off the bowling of Anderson late on the second day and very early in De Villiers’ knock. In a twist of irony, Anderson dropped Amla off Root’s bowling when the South African skipper was on 76. Amla was dropped again on 120 by Nick Compton.”Obviously we’re disappointed to not take them but no one means to drop catches,” Finn said.De Villiers hit 12 fours and a six, while Amla returned to form with a big century, hitting 21 fours.With South Africa in a slump, Amla’s lack of form and captaincy had come under scrutiny. When he passed 50, it was for the first time since the New Year test in Cape Town a year ago, ending a drought of 11 innings without a meaningful score.
“The Government accepts the conviction of Nasheed as lawful and final. The conviction has reached finality after the decision of the Supreme Court on 27 June 2016. The Government notes with concern that although a detailed submission was filed in response to the complaints, very little, if any, consideration has been given to those submissions,” the Maldives Foreign Ministry said. The Maldives Government has rejected the views adopted by the UN Human Rights Committee regarding the complaints filed by former President Mohamed Nasheed alleging the violation of his civil and political rights.The Maldives Foreign Ministry said that the Government of the Maldives is committed to promoting and protecting the rights enshrined in the Constitution of the Maldives and in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights as per it’s international obligations, and it wholeheartedly refutes that any of these rights have been violated in the case of the former President Nasheed. “The Government also maintains that the former President Nasheed’s political standing had no bearing, whatsoever, on the charges against him and his subsequent conviction, and reaffirms that the process was free of any and all political influence. As Nasheed has been convicted lawfully, the restrictions on his political participation and association are justified and reasonable under the laws and regulations of the Maldives as well as the rulings of the courts of the Maldives,” the Maldives Government said.The Government notes that Article 109 of the Constitution of the Maldives details the qualifications a person elected as President must hold, and as such, Article 109 (f) states that such a person shall not have been convicted of a criminal offence and sentenced to a term of more than twelve months, unless a period of three years has elapsed since his release, or pardon for the offence for which he was sentenced. The UN Human Rights Committee had concluded in a finding made public that the Maldives must restore ex-President Mohamed Nasheed’s right to stand for office, including the office of President. The finding of violations of human rights was made in response to two individual complaints by Nasheed filed in 2013 and 2016. The Maldives Government said that since Former President Nasheed was convicted on 13 March 2015 and sentenced to 13 years of imprisonment, he would not be eligible to run for the Office of the President unless a period of three years has elapsed since his release or pardon.The Government also notes that the Former President was granted permission to travel abroad to seek medical treatment and that following expiry of the medical leave, he has not returned to serve his sentence and therefore remains a fugitive.