Smith ton stretches South Africa lead over Pakistan

REUTERS - South Africa captain Graeme Smith scored an unbeaten century as the tourists extended their lead over Pakistan to one run shy of 100 at lunch on the second day of the second test in Dubai on Thursday.

The Proteas progressed steadily to 198 for four in their first innings, seeking to build a substantial advantage after dismissing Pakistan for just 99 on the first day on Wednesday.

Resuming on 67, Smith reached his 27th test century in 204 balls in a chanceless innings that marked a confidence-building return to form after undergoing ankle surgery just months ago.

Nightwatchman Dale Steyn was the only wicket to fall in the session, bowled by Mohammad Irfan without offering a shot for seven, and new batman AB de Villiers was dropped by keeper Adnan Akmal off the very next ball.

That spell was the only time South Africa came under pressure as De Villiers took advantage of the let off to go to lunch on 26 not out while his skipper reached the interval on 107.

Another concern for Pakistan is the two official warnings issued to leading paceman Irfan for stepping into the line of the stumps on his follow through. One more and he will not be allowed to bowl again in the innings.

Pakistan lead the two-match series 1-0 after winning the first test by seven wickets in Abu Dhabi last week. The tests are being played in the Gulf due to security concerns in Pakistan.

(Reporting by Mark Gleeson; Editing by John O'Brien)


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