Ton-up Smith anchors South Africa in first Test

Dubai: Graeme Smith struck a fighting century to put South Africa on track for a big total against a hapless Pakistan attack on the opening day of the first Test.

Smith hit eight boundaries in his 152-ball 100 and shared a 153-run opening stand with Alviro Petersen (67) before Hashim Amla (80) built on the good work to help South Africa, who won the toss and batted, reach 311-3 at close.

Jacques Kallis, who shared a 117-run third wicket stand with Amla, was unbeaten on a well-played 53 with nighwatchman Paul Harris unbeaten on nought as South Africa piled on the runs at will on a flat Dubai Stadium pitch.

The Dubai Stadium became Test cricket`s 102nd venue, but failed to attract more than 1,000 people in a ground where people have mostly watched one-day cricket since it was built last year.

Kallis has so far hit five boundaries during his 106-ball patient knock.

South Africa`s batsmen feasted on a slow, flat and grass-less pitch as none of the Pakistani bowlers could stop the run-flow as Smith and Petersen gave their team a solid start.

Smith, initially a little shaky as he survived close shouts, hit three boundaries off paceman Umar Gul after lunch, the first of which brought up his 29th Test half-century.

He continued in the same vein, pushing left-arm spinner Abdul Rehman for a single to bring up his century after 215 minutes of batting, inclusive of eight boundaries.

But Smith fell on the very next delivery, hooking paceman Wahab Riaz straight into the hands of Taufiq Umer standing at deep square-leg.

Smith and Petersen took South Africa to 101 without loss by lunch, before Pakistan struck twice in the second session.

Petersen, ruled not out by Australian umpire Daryl Harper when on nine after television replays showed he had edged paceman Umar Gul to debutant wicketkeeper Adnan Akmal, hit eight boundaries.

He was the first to go when Younis Khan leapt high to take a brilliant catch at short mid-wicket.


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