South Africa take control

Karachi, October 2:

South Africa took charge of the first Test on Tuesday after posting a strong total of 450 against a faltering Pakistan.

Pakistan ended the second day at 127-5 as their top order collapsed after openers Kamran Akmal (42) and Mohammad Hafeez (34) had provided a brisk start of 71. They still require 124 to avoid the follow-on. Captain Shoaib Malik was batting on nine while Abdul Rehman was not out on one.

Paul Harris (2-18) removed both openers in space of 14 balls with Jacques Kallis holding onto a sharp one-handed reflex catch of Hafeez. Akmal was promoted in the order after regular opener Salman Butt had to spend 11 hours in the hospital for stomach pains. Akmal hit five fours before he was trapped lbw by Harris.

Younis Khan (6) was bowled by paceman Andre Nel off a delivery that kept very low. Kallis bowled Faisal Iqbal cheaply in his second over. Dale Steyn dealt another blow late in the day when Misbah-ul-Haq (23) — returning to the test side after four years — edged a wide delivery.

South Africa were indebted to A B de Villiers’ 77 for a healthy total as Pakistan’s rookie spinner Rehman (4-105) ran through the lower order. De Villiers scored the bulk of runs after Mark Boucher (1) fell in the second session.

Rehman then mopped up the tail end with three more wickets before De Villiers was yorked by Umar Gul (2-60). De Villiers hit seven fours and a six off Rehman in his two-hour batting stint.

Earlier, South Africa lost century-maker Jacques Kallis (155) and Ashwell Prince (36) before progressing to 385 in the first session after they resumed from the overnight score of 294-3.

Danish Kaneria (2-124) became the sixth Pakistani bowler to amass 200 Test wickets when he caught Prince off his own bowling. Kaneria also got rid of Kallis as Akmal finally held onto an edge. Kallis added 73 with Prince for the fourth wicket before he departed after facing 249 balls, hitting 19 boundaries in his five-hour knock.