Proteas in driving seat
South Africa gained the upper hand in the second Test against Pakistan in Lahore after a strong showing on Tuesday.
The Proteas’ tail wagged early on as Mark Boucher and Paul Harris’s eighth-wicket stand of 88 enabled the tourists to post 357 all out in their first innings. The South African bowlers then made early inroads into the Pakistan batting line-up.
At stumps, the home side had moved on to 140 for four with former captain Inzamam-ul-Haq, playing his final Test before retirement, still there on 10 not out.
The tourists lead the two-match series 1-0 after winning the first Test in Karachi.
The Proteas started the day on 259 for six and promptly lost Andre Nel for a duck to the fifth ball of the morning, caught at short leg by Misbah-ul-Haq as he tried to fend away a short delivery from Umar Gul.
It looked at that point as though South Africa would struggle to reach 300 but Boucher and Harris knuckled down and frustrated the home attack.
Harris made 46 - his highest score in Test cricket - before clipping a Gul delivery to Shoaib Malik at cover.
Danish Kaneria accounted for Dale Steyn, bowling him around his legs for a duck, before Boucher’s innings also came to an end.
The wicket-keeper with the most dismissals in Test cricket completed his 26th Test fifty but fell four runs later when he was caught at long-on by Abdur Rehman off Kaneria.
Leg-spinner Kaneria was the pick of the Pakistan bowlers, taking 4-114, while Gul chipped in with 3-103.
The Pakistan reply started well with openers Salman Butt and Kamran Akmal racing past 50 in the nine overs before tea, although they were helped by a South African attack which bowled far too many short balls.
Proteas captain Graeme Smith changed tack in the final session of the day and it reaped immediate rewards as slow left-armer Harris snared Butt for 40.
The batsman attempted to sweep a straight delivery and the ball looped nicely to Smith at short fine-leg.
Younus Khan departed to the next ball of the following over having made just three, Nel getting a full-length ball to nip back and remove the off-stump.
Akmal duly completed his sixth Test half-century but fell shortly afterwards, Smith and Harris again combining.
That dismissal brought Inzamam to the crease with the home crowd offering him a rousing ovation while the South African players also formed a guard of honour.
The burly 37-year-old looked composed from the off and looked well set to play his part in a big partnership with another returning player, Mohammad Yousuf, the 2006 ICC Player of the Year who opted out of the first Test after claiming he was not match-fit.
But Yousuf departed for 25 after getting a ball from Steyn which kept low, trapping him in front of the stumps.