Smith puts ankle problems behind to go on run spree

REUTERS - An emotional Graeme Smith marked his return from an ankle injury with an unbeaten double century as South Africa went on a record-breaking run spree against Pakistan in Dubai on Thursday.

Smith enjoyed a day to remember as he smashed 227 not out on the second day of the second test, crossed 9000 test runs and shared a South African record fifth-wicket stand of 326 with AB de Villiers (157 not out) as they built up a significant lead over Pakistan.

"It was a lot of hard work to get to this point, a lot of emotions came out of me. It was a grind," South African captain Smith said of his 10 hours at the crease, facing 367 balls in oppressive heat at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.

"The outfield was not quick and I seemed to get my runs to the long boundaries, which meant I had to keep running threes," he told SuperSport television.

"After five months off, I had one and a half innings (at bat) before the start of this test series and to stand here having scored a double hundred against a quality attack is a good feeling."

It was his fifth test double ton.

"I haven't always been the most talented guy but I've found a way to score runs and I understand how to do it."

Looking significantly leaner after a tough recent fitness regime, Smith built on his overnight score 67 not out.

"Three months on crutches gives you ample time to put on weight, eat well and drink with your mates but once I started (training) the discipline kicked in and a lot of good people got me to where I am," he said of surgery in May on a persistent ankle problem.

"I was quite surprised I didn't cramp. I have had a problem with cramp throughout my career but the little whipper-snapper on the other end (De Villiers) cramped more than me, so I gave him a little bit of stick for that."

De Villiers was dropped off his first ball and capitalised on the let off by punishing the Pakistan bowlers.

"When AB came into bat it was a key moment in the game, anything could have happened, one or two wickets and we would have been under pressure without too much of a lead and having to bat last on this wicket.

"AB and myself are good friends and it was wonderful to spend time out there with him. Our rapport is good, we kept it nice and light but also really focused on the game plan. And batting with him, the intensity changes. He's got so many strokes, the ability to change the game so quickly and transfer pressure."

Smith must now decide whether to declare overnight or to build on South Africa's 361-run lead after skittling Pakistan for 99 in the first innings. (Reporting by Mark Gleeson, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

Matches

MORE TOP STORIES TODAY

Srinivasan named in fixing report: SC

Srinivasan named in fixing report: SC

The court emphasised that the tainted administrator can no longer work for the BCCI. More »

The stage is set for IPL-7 to start

The stage is set for IPL-7 to start

The Preview — Defending champions Mumbai Indians take on Kolkata Knight Riders More »

Why I'm not looking forward to the IPL

Why I'm not looking forward to the IPL

Welcome to another season of a league that many watch but few trust. More »

'If you do the wrong thing it will be found out'

'If you do the wrong thing it will be found out'

'Everyone knows what is right and what is wrong and if you do the wrong thing it will be found out' More »

Mitchell Johnson may quit T20s for Test cricket

Mitchell Johnson may quit T20s for Test cricket

Australia's Mitchell Johnson may quit limited-overs cricket to prolong his test career with an eye on the 2015 Ashes series in England, the fast bowler… More »

There's a lot going on: Fleming

There's a lot going on: Fleming

He experienced anxious moments in the lead-up to the tournament as the courts decided on whether to suspend the franchise, he said, but stressed that the… More »

Latif couldn’t work with tainted players

Latif couldn’t work with tainted players

Former Pakistan cricket captain Rashid Latif said Tuesday he turned down the job of national chief selector because he could not work with ex-players tainted… More »

We are not over-confident: Bailey

We are not over-confident: Bailey

Indian Premier League — George Bailey-led Kings XI Punjab will face Chennai Super Kings on Friday. More »

Taxing issue — BCCI hits roadblock

Taxing issue — BCCI hits roadblock

MoU between BCCI & its units to avoid double taxation delayed after a few decline to share details. More »

Big runs expected, with bat and ball

Big runs expected, with bat and ball

Royal Challengers Bangalore: Their main concern, once again, is the fast bowling More »

Srinivasan appeals to court to allow BCCI comeback

Srinivasan appeals to court to allow BCCI comeback

He was aggrieved by the allegations against him during the hearing. More »

Black Caps pick rookie duo for West Indies

Black Caps pick rookie duo for West Indies

New Zealand selectors included two new caps in a 15-man Test squad named Tuesday to tour the West Indies, with injury-hit spinner Dan Vettori's future… More »

India: cricket's Brazil

India: cricket's Brazil

They are tough to beat with a big talent base exposed to good facilities. (CYCSPL) More »

Delhi Daredevils say no to gifts

Delhi Daredevils say no to gifts

Franchises are doing their bit to refurbish the image of the tainted league. More »

Klinger on his exit from South Australia

Klinger on his exit from South Australia

Michael Klinger has revealed he felt compelled to leave South Australia after being told he would be only a fringe part of the Redbacks' plans for next season, and disputed the suggestion that he left… More »

India-Pakistan Test series likely in 2015

India-Pakistan Test series likely in 2015

The revival of Indo-Pak Test ties could take place in UAE. More »

Kohli hopes to end RCB trophy drought

Kohli hopes to end RCB trophy drought

'This time around we will hope to go few more steps ahead and actually get that trophy' More »

Gavaskar can help IPL regain glory

Gavaskar can help IPL regain glory

Apart from the foreign players a lot of behind-the-scene activity has taken place in selecting the Indian domestic players. More »

Tendulkar, Ganguly to promote soccer

Tendulkar, Ganguly to promote soccer

Leading Spanish club Atletico Madrid and former cricketers Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly are among the owners of eight franchises of a new Indian… More »

This isn’t my first trip to India: Neesham

This isn’t my first trip to India: Neesham

Kiwi all-rounder wants to utilise the India leg to explore the country’s tourist attractions. More »

Ishant wanted to quit ODIs

Ishant wanted to quit ODIs

Says his mother made him change his mind. More »

Supreme Court says no to BCCI’s request

Supreme Court says no to BCCI’s request

Bench refuses to grant access to recordings of Srini and Dhoni’s depositions before Mudgal committee. More »

Pietersen’s ‘little’ secret is out

Pietersen’s ‘little’ secret is out

A fractured little finger could now throw the Delhi Daredevils captain out of action at the start of this season. More »

SMA Trophy gets short-changed

SMA Trophy gets short-changed

Key players are away preparing for the IPL, taking the shine off the other domestic T20 fixture. (CYCSPL) More »