Dubai – AB de Villiers joined Graeme Smith in hitting a century as South Africa punished a hapless Pakistan on the second day of the second and final Test against Pakistan in Dubai on Thursday.
De Villiers, dropped at nought by wicket-keeper Adnan Akmal off paceman Mohammad Irfan, made sure Pakistan paid for the lapse as he notched his 17th Test century in taking South Africa to 337/4 by tea at the Dubai stadium.
At the break Smith was unbeaten on 165, having completed his 27th hundred in Tests in the morning session, and De Villiers on 100.
The experienced duo plundered Pakistan's spin-cum-pace attack on a pitch which gave little help to the bowlers. They have so far added 203 for an unbroken fifth wicket stand, increasing South Africa's lead to 238 with six wickets intact.
That domination put South Africa firmly in place for a series-levelling win after losing the first Test by seven wickets in Abu Dhabi last week.
Smith hit spinner Saeed Ajmal for three consecutive boundaries to reach his ninth score of 150 plus. He has so far hit 11 boundaries off 276 balls.
De Villiers was more aggressive as he hit Zulfiqar Babar for his 13th boundary to reach the three-figure mark, his fourth against Pakistan. He also hit a six off Ajmal.
Smith, overnight 67, anchored the innings in the morning and reached his century with a straight drive off Ajmal for his only sixth boundary. It took Smith 204 balls to reach the milestone.
Pakistan took the new ball straightaway after the 80th over but it only upped the scoring rate with de Villiers hitting Irfan for two successive boundaries and one off Babar to bring up his fifty.
He reached the milestone off 95 balls with eight boundaries, also completing 1,000 runs against Pakistan in 12 Tests.
Resuming at 128/3, South Africa lost nightwatchman Dale Steyn in the seventh over of the day, bowled for seven as he offered no stroke to a Irfan delivery.
Irfan, who bowled at good pace, could have had De Villiers off the very next ball but Akmal failed to hold on to a edge towards his right.
Pakistani spinners led by Saeed Ajmal (2/102) bowled tirelessly but failed to exploit any turn on a pitch that was expected to give slow bowlers help. – Sapa-AFP