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Smith century stretches South Africa’s lead to 99

October 24, 2013

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — South Africa captain Graeme Smith hit his 27th test century as the Proteas stretched their lead to 99 runs in the second test against Pakistan on Thursday.

Smith’s unbeaten 107 off 216 balls with six boundaries guided South Africa to 198-4 at lunch on the second day, losing just the wicket of nightwatchman Dale Steyn in the morning session.

De Villiers was lucky to be there on 26 at the break. Pakistan — leading the two-match series 1-0 — was bowled out for just 99 in the first innings.

Steyn (7) added six more to the team’s overnight 128-3 before he offered no shot to 7-foot-1 fast bowler Mohammad Irfan’s delivery that knocked his exposed off stump.

And with the lead only 35 at that stage, Irfan should have had the wicket of De Villiers, but wicketkeeper Adnan Akmal couldn’t hold on to a low diving catch off the thick outside edge.

De Villiers could have been out leg before wicket on 25 had Pakistan not wasted both their television referrals inside the first five overs of South Africa innings on Wednesday.

Umpire Rod Tucker turned down Saeed Ajmal’s (2-68) appeal but television replays showed the ball would have hit the middle and leg stump. Pakistan has to wait for another five overs to top up their TV reviews after 80 overs are completed.

Smith, 67 overnight, used his feet well against both spinners and seamers and raised his first century in 2013 with a straight driven boundary off Ajmal.

The South African captain last scored a century against Australia at Adelaide in November 2011. It was also Smith’s fourth test hundred against Pakistan and second at Dubai after he made 100 here three years ago in the drawn test match.

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