Pakistan v SA

Smith's ton boosts Proteas

2010-11-12 00:55
Graeme Smith (File)
Dubai - Pakistan fought back by taking two wickets but not before South African skipper Graeme Smith hit a fighting hundred on the opening day of the first Test against Pakistan on Friday.

The 29-year-old left-hander scored his 22nd Test century to lead South Africa, who decided to bat after winning the toss, to 197/2 at tea on a flat Dubai Stadium pitch.

Hashim Amla was unbeaten on 22 and with him Jacques Kallis on three as Pakistan took two wickets in the second session after Smith and fellow opener Alviro Petersen (67) put on 153 runs for the opening wicket.

Smith, initially a little shaky as he survived close shouts, hit three boundaries off paceman Umar Gul after lunch, the first of which brought up his 29th Test half-century.

He continued in the same vein, pushing left-arm spinner Abdul Rehman for a single to bring up his century after 215-minute batting, inclusive of eight boundaries.

But Smith fell on the very next delivery, hooking paceman Wahab Riaz straight into the hands of Taufiq Umer standing at deep square-leg.

Smith and Petersen had almost frustrated the Pakistani bowlers who failed to extract any life from the flat pitch which is expected to take spin in the next two days.

Petersen, ruled not out by Australian umpire Daryl Harper when on nine after television replays showed he had edged paceman Umar Gul to debutant wicketkeeper Adnan Akmal, hit eight boundaries.

He was the first to go when Younis Khan leapt high to take a brilliant catch at short mid-wicket.

Pakistan, seeking their first series win in four years, started the match on the wrong note when their most experienced batsman, Mohammad Yousuf, was ruled out of the match with a recurring groin injury minutes before the toss.

That forced Pakistan to include Umar Akmal in the squad as they went in with two spinners, Abdul Rehman and Saeed Ajmal, and two seamers, Gul and Riaz.

South Africa, who won the preceding Twenty20 series 2-0 and one-dayers 3-2, also included both their spinners Johan Botha and Paul Harris, with Kallis giving them an additional option in fast bowling.

Pakistan handed a Test cap to wicketkeeper Adnan Akmal after Zulqarnain Haider fled to London on Monday, saying he had received death threats.



Taufeeq Umar, Mohammad Hafeez, Younis Khan, Azhar Ali, Misbah-ul-Haq (captain), Umar Akmal, Adnan Akmal (wk), Abdur Rehman, Wahab Riaz, Umar Gul, Saeed Ajmal

South Africa:
Graeme Smith (captain), Alviro Petersen, Jacques Kallis, Hashim Amla, AB de Villiers, Ashwell Prince, Mark Boucher (wk), Johan Botha, Paul Harris, Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel

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