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De Villiers soars towards double century

AB de Villiers was soaring towards a double century as he took South Africa to 386 for seven at lunch on the second day of the second Test against Pakistan at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium on Sunday.

De Villiers was on 163 not out as South Africa, who had been sent in to bat, built on their sweet comeback of the first day, when De Villiers and Jacques Kallis (105) lifted them from 33 for three to 311 for five at stumps.

Pakistan managed to make two breakthroughs on the second morning with Tanvir Ahmed continuing his tremendous debut by bowling Mark Boucher for 45, a big in-swinger bursting through his defences and crashing into middle stump.

Johan Botha stayed with De Villiers for over an hour and scored 12 before he tried to slog-sweep left-arm spinner Abdur Rehman and was bowled in the penultimate over before lunch.

De Villiers was the epitome of sensible, elegant batting as he faced 313 balls and stroked 16 fours and a six. The placement and timing of his shots was once again superb as the 26-year-old neared the second double century of his career.

Tanvir, who announced himself on the international stage in spectacular fashion on Saturday by taking three early wickets, had taken five for 94 in 25 overs — the fourth Pakistan pace bowler to take five wickets on his debut.

South Africa are trying to make amends for drawing the first game of the two-test series, being played in the United Arab Emirates because of worries about security in Pakistan, after dominating the first four days. – Reuters

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