Dubai – Asad Shafiq hit a fighting hundred but South Africa got the prized wicket of Misbah-ul Haq to edge closer to a series-levelling win in the second Test against Pakistan in Dubai on Saturday.
At tea, Pakistan were 274-5 with Shafiq unbeaten on 114 for his fourth Test hundred while Misbah fell for 88 after frustrating South Africa during a fifth-wicket stand of 197 on the fourth day at Dubai stadium.
Adnan Akmal was the other unbeaten batsman on one as Pakistan still needed another 144 runs to avoid an innings defeat.
When it looked like Misbah would guide Pakistan towards safety he fell to a smart move by South African captain Graeme Smith, who brought on part-timer Dean Elgar to bowl.
The left-hand slow blower returned the faith shown in him in his second over when Misbah's miscued drive was well caught by Jacques Kallis, ending a 349-minute vigil. Misbah hit six boundaries and a six off 218 balls.
Shafiq reached his hundred with a superb on-drive off Jean-Paul Duminy for his 11th boundary to complete his second hundred against South Africa. He had hit 12 fours and a six off 268 balls at tea.
The day began with the news that South Africa's Faf du Plessis had been fined 50 percent of his match fee on ball tampering charges by match referee David Boon of Australia.
On Friday the 29-year-old South African was caught by television cameras rubbing the ball on the zip of his trousers in an apparent move to change the condition of the ball.
Boon held a hearing later Friday during which Du Plessis pleaded guilty. He became the first South African punished for ball tampering in international cricket.
On the field Misbah and Shafiq added injury to South Africa's insult by batting with a resolve to fight hard.
Shafiq, on 36, got a reprieve early in the day when a leg-before decision by Australian umpire Rod Tucker was overturned on review. The unlucky bowler was paceman Vernon Philander in the fifth over in the day.
Shafiq, who scored 54 in Pakistan's seven-wicket win in last week's first Test in Abu Dhabi, reached his ninth Test fifty when he guided Duminy towards third man.
Misbah followed Shafiq, reaching his 22nd half-century at Test level with a single towards third man off paceman Morne Morkel. – AFP