x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Pakistan v South Africa Dubai Test Day 2 session updates

Paul Radley reports from Day 2 in Dubai, where Graeme Smith this morning claimed his 27th Test century.

Graeme Smith knocked the 27th Test century of his career on Wednesday morning. Pawan Singh / The National
Graeme Smith knocked the 27th Test century of his career on Wednesday morning. Pawan Singh / The National

Evening session - South Africa 460 for four

The scoreboard may be looking handsome, Graeme Smith and AB de Villiers were visibly the worse for their labours at stumps having spent most of the day at the wicket.

The two trudged slowly to the dressing rooms, where they would be able to ponder a fine day’s work - and no doubt assess exactly when would be best to declare.

South Africa’s lead had reached 361 by the end, after a mammoth effort by their fifth wicket partnership.

Smith closed unbeaten on 227. De Villiers was on 157, and their alliance had moved onto an unbroken 326 overnight.

Afternoon session - South Africa 337 for four

AB de Villiers might have fallen just short of a ton in the opening Test in Abu Dhabi last week, but he made no such mistake here as he reached three-figures on the stroke of tea.

The South African wicket-keeper’s second innings 90 in the capital came in a losing cause. This time around he seems certain to be laying the platform for victory, as he progressed seamlessly to exactly 100 by the interval.

His unbroken alliance of 203 with Graeme Smith, who was on 165 at tea, means the Proteas now have a 238 run lead over the Pakistanis.

Morning session – South Africa 198 for four

South Africa turned the screws on Pakistan on the second morning in Dubai as they made it through the session for the loss of just nightwatchman Dale Steyn.

The lower order batsman fell to Mohammad Irfan for just seven, but that was as good as it got for Pakistan as Proteas captain Graeme Smith and AB de Villiers calmly kept the score ticking along with an unbroken stand of 64 to get then 99 runs ahead, with six wickets in hand at lunch as they stood on 198 for four.

Smith, who had looked out of touch in the first Test after his spell out with injury, showed realm determination to hit his 27th Test century as he made it to 107 not out, with De Villiers looking in good nick at the other end on 26.