Graeme Smith’s fifth Test double-century and AB de Villiers’ 17th format hundred made it all but certain that South Africa will share the series with Pakistan, albeit only two days of the last game have been played.
Having seen Misbah-ul-Haq’s side skittled for 99 yesterday, Smith and de Villiers, who was dropped first ball, ground them into the Dubai dust today with a gargantuan, unbroken stand of 326 that left the Proteas 460 for four in intense heat.
Skipper Smith, having returned for this series from five months out after ankle surgery, has 227 to his name and de Villiers 157. They joined forces when nightwatchman Dale Steyn was the day’s sole wicket.
With South Africa resuming on 128 for three, Steyn was bowled shouldering arms to Mohammad Irfan immediately before de Villiers was shelled by wicketkeeper Adnan Akmal, diving to his right.
De Villiers had another let-off on 25 when Rod Tucker rejected Saeed Ajmal’s lbw appeal. The umpire’s call would likely have been overturned had Pakistan not used their reviews.
Smith, on 67 overnight, reached three figures by lunch and de Villiers, who accelerated in the afternoon, registered the same landmark on the stroke of tea, after which Pakistan’s misery continued as spinners Ajmal and Zulfiqar Babar conceded unwanted centuries.