Misbah ton puts Pakistan in control

REUTERS - Misbah-ul-Haq scored his fourth test century to help Pakistan to 429 for eight wickets and a lead of 180 at tea on the third day of the first test against South Africa in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.

The Pakistan captain bagged his first ton against the Proteas as he made the most of a placid third-day pitch, before he was out two balls later for exactly 100, lbw to Dale Steyn.

He was ably supported by Asad Shafiq, who was not in the original squad for the match but added after a composed showing for Pakistan A in the warm-up fixture.

He compiled a patient 54 from 105 balls and put on 82 runs for the fifth wicket with his captain before becoming JP Duminiy's second wicket of the innings when he clipped the ball to Alviro Peterson at mid-wicket.

The other wickets to fall in the post-lunch session were Saeed Ajmal, who struck a brisk 13 before edging a Vernon Philander delivery to wicket-keeper AB de Villiers, and Zulfiqar Babar (2). Babar was brilliantly run out by Steyn with the last ball before tea.

Adnan Akmal (22 not out) will now be key in getting Pakistan's lead past 200.

Khurram Manzoor, who reached his maiden test century on Tuesday, was the only wicket to fall in Wednesday's opening session, caught behind for 146, as he slashed at a rising delivery from Philander and was taken at second slip by a diving Jacques Kallis.

South Africa were bowled out for 249 in their first innings early on the second day with only Hashim Amla, who scored 118, making any impression.

The two-match series is being hosted in the United Arab Emirates with the second test in Dubai, starting next week. (Reporting by Nick Said, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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