Pakistan v SA
Pakistan take firm grip
Misbah-ul-Haq (Gallo Images)
Abu Dhabi - Misbah-ul Haq notched his fourth hundred to further Pakistan's charge on the third day of the first Test at Sheikh Zayed Stadium on Wednesday.
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Pakistan skipper scored exactly 100 for his first hundred against South Africa to take Pakistan to 442 all out shortly after tea in reply to South Africa's first innings total of 249.
Misbah was finally trapped leg-before by paceman Dale Steyn who was wicketless until after 23rd over.
Steyn's pace partner Vernon Philander was the pick of the bowlers with 3-84.
Misbah ensured Pakistan increase the lead after opener Khurram Manzoor departed in the first hour of the day for 146, adding an invaluable 82 for the fifth wicket with Asad Shafiq who made 54.
At 39 years and 141 days, Misbah became the oldest Pakistani batsman to score a Test hundred. He is also the oldest to notch a Test hundred since England's Graham Gooch reached three-figure mark, against New Zealand at Nottingham in 1994 at the age of 40 years 314 days.
England's Jack Hobbs holds the record for oldest Test centurion at 46 years and 82 days when he scored a hundred against Australia in 1929.
Resuming at 263/3, Manzoor and Misbah frustrated the South African bowlers who had looked for early wickets.
Manzoor, who resumed on 131, bettered Pakistan's highest individual Test score against South Africa held by all-rounder Azhar Mahmood who scored 137 in Johannesburg in 1998.
But Philander gave South Africa the much-needed breakthrough by dismissing Manzoor, caught off a slash in the slip by Jacques Kallis.
Manzoor hit 15 boundaries and batted solidly throughout his 388-minute knock. He added 112 for the fourth wicket with his skipper to strengthen Pakistan's position.
Shafiq, playing for his place in the team after a disastrous Zimbabwe tour where he managed just 43 in four innings, batted solidly until he gave a straight catch off part-timer spinner Jean-Paul Duminy.
Misbah reached his hundred with a single off Duminy, his first since May 2011, off 185-balls, raising his arms and bat in acknowledgement. In all he batted for 298 minutes, hitting eight boundaries.
Duminy, who took 2-68, proved better than regular spinner Robin Peterson who went wicketless after 27 overs, conceding 111 runs.