Ashwell Prince and Jacques Kallis hit fighting half centuries for South Africa on Monday against a disciplined Pakistan bowling attack on the first day of the second Test.
South Africa prodded to 259-6 with Mark Boucher not out on 9 and Andre Nel yet to score as stumps were drawn for the day seven overs before scheduled close due to bad light.
Prince (63) shared the day’s best stand of 83 runs with De Villiers (45) in one-and-a half-hours before both were dismissed in the last half hour.
Left-arm spinner Abdul Rehman broke through Prince’s defences when the South African vice-captain attempted a big drive and was bowled. De Villiers was unlucky to be run out after Boucher’s hard drive touched Mohammad Asif’s fingers in the follow through and deflected back on to the stumps at the non-striker’s end.
”My shot was a bit irresponsible,” Prince said after staying at the wicket for three hours.
”But the last wicket [of De Villiers] was unfortunate; it probably tilted the balance a little bit in Pakistan favour,” he added.
Danish Kaneria (2-73), who bowled a marathon spell of 27 overs, denied the South African batsmen the opportunity score freely on a lively wicket at the Gaddafi Stadium.
The lanky leg-spinner came on to bowl in only the 12th over of the day and was duly rewarded with key wickets of Kallis and captain Graeme Smith (46), who elected to bat after winning the toss.
”It was hard for him to be bowling so early in the day, but he did a good job,” Prince said.
Kaneria struck in the middle session when he foxed Smith with a delivery that turned sharply and hit the stumps through a little gap between bat and pad. Kallis put on 53 runs with Smith and shared another productive 60-run stand with Prince. Kaneria struck in the last over before tea when he had Kallis trapped plumb lbw.
Kallis, who scored 155 and unbeaten 100 in South Africa’s first Test victory last week, looked a bit shaky on a wicket that has bounce for fast bowlers and also offered appreciable turn to Kaneria.
He was beaten at times by Kaneria’s sharp leg-spinners and on 34 survived a close lbw decision off Asif. He completed his half century off 104 balls with two cover-driven boundaries in paceman Umar Gul’s one over.
South Africa, leading 1-0 in the two-Test series, made a slow start and progressed to 70-2 in the morning session.
Asif and new-ball partner Gul bowled at a good pace before Pakistan got the breakthrough in the eighth over. Herschelle Gibbs (13) drove loosely to Gul’s delivery and gave an easy catch to Misbah-ul-Haq.
Hashim Amla (10) misjudged an Asif delivery that cut back into the right-hander and hit the top of off-stump.
South Africa — looking for their first away series win against a major subcontinent opponent in the last seven years — retained the same team that defeated Pakistan in the first Test.
Pakistan brought in their two experienced batsmen — Inzamam-ul-Haq and Mohammad Yousuf — after both opted out of the first Test.
Inzamam is playing his last match before retiring from Test cricket and replaced Faisal Iqbal in the middle-order.
Mohammad Yousuf, who opted out from the first Test on fitness grounds, came in in place of opening batsman Mohammad Hafeez. Wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal will now open the innings after Hafeez was dropped. — Sapa-AP