Pakistan v South Africa, 2nd Test, Dubai, 2nd day October 24, 2013

Smith and de Villiers flatten Pakistan


South Africa 460 for 4 (Smith 227*, de Villiers 157*) lead Pakistan 99 (Babar 25*, Tahir 5-32, Steyn 3-38) by 361 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

After bundling out Pakistan for 99 on the first day of the second Test, South Africa served them a lesson on how to grind out an opposition with the bat on the second, as Graeme Smith and AB de Villiers put on a mammoth 326-run unbeaten partnership to close doors on any thoughts of a series win Misbah-ul-Haq might have had after the success in Abu Dhabi. Smith scored an almost chanceless double-century - his fifth - while de Villiers brought up his 17th hundred and with three days still to go, the two put South Africa in a dominant position with a lead of 361 runs.

It was Smith's first century - his fourth against Pakistan - on return from a five-month lay-off during which he underwent an ankle surgery. If there were any lingering doubts about his fitness or form, he dispelled them with nimble use of the feet against the spinners and assured strokeplay against the seamers. He reached the century-mark with a straight drive off Saeed Ajmal in the first session and strolled to his double in the third. The 200th run also made him only the 12th batsman - and second South African after Jacques Kallis - to have accumulated 9000 runs in Tests. By the end of the day, Smith had batted for more than six hours, a testament to his fitness in sapping conditions.

Smith briefly faced some problems against Irfan's steep bounce in the second session. He was smacked on the helmet off one such delivery that chased him as he was making room. But apart from that, his innings was largely unblemished.

In de Villiers, Smith had an ideal partner to complement his solidity with breathtaking strokeplay. The contrast was at its starkest during the second session when de Villiers tore into the bowling with a flurry of boundaries against the new ball, while Smith was happy in turning the strike over. But as de Villiers slowed down as he closed in on his century and then later, because of cramps, Smith brought out an array of aggressive strokes to thwart the bowlers. He had hit only six fours in his first hundred, but increased the number to 16 as he started playing horizontal bat shots to the seamers and lofted shots against spinners in the latter half of his innings. By the end of the day, Smith had added 158 runs to the partnership, neatly balancing the 157 added by de Villiers.

After a slow start to the day when 70 runs were scored in the first session, Pakistan leaked 262 runs in the next two. It was de Villiers who switched gears first, unfurling back-foot punches and front-foot drives against Irfan and the new ball, then he drilled Zulfiqar Babar to the straight boundary to bring up his half-century and 1000 Test runs against Pakistan. He kept up the attack on Irfan, hitting two more boundaries in his next over, and forcing Misbah to take his best bowler out of the attack after three overs with the new ball. Towards the end of the second session, he played an exquisite inside-out drive to go past his century. He curtailed his shots in the third session after being slowed down by a bout of cramps, but that didn't stop him from going past the 150-mark with relative ease.

Pakistan, though, were left to rue a few chances that came their way. De Villiers, facing his first delivery against Irfan, was lured into a loose drive by a full delivery that went across the batsman. He was slow to move closer to the line of the delivery and a thick outside edge flew low to the right of the wicketkeeper, but Adnan Akmal failed to hold on.

The second chance came late in the session when Saeed Ajmal's appeal for lbw against de Villiers, who was on 25, was turned down by the umpire Rod Tucker, who thought the ball had hit the bat before the pad. The replays showed the ball hit the pads first and would have gone on to strike the middle stump. However, Pakistan didn't have any reviews left after they had wasted them within five overs of the innings yesterday.

The reviews were replenished after the 80th over, but Pakistan's luck with them showed no improvement. De Villiers was given out lbw to a sharply turning delivery in the second over of the third session, only to be saved by the ball-tracker which showed the ball would have spun past the leg stump.

For Pakistan bowlers, the day didn't have as bad a start. Irfan removed Dale Steyn, the nightwatchman, early, reducing South Africa to 134 for 4. It could have been 134 for 5 had Akmal held on to the chance offered by de Villiers. From then on, the four frontline bowlers toiled hard all day without any rewards. By the end of the day, Ajmal and Babar had bowled 75 overs in the innings. Ajmal derived some useful turn from the pitch, but it was just that the batsmen were both in prime form.

'Very disappointed with Pakistan's performance' - Waqar Younis

Devashish Fuloria is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Jo on October 25, 2013, 17:00 GMT

    @Man_At_Work: No technology exist to create sand rain bro. Even if they manufacture water rain, in UAE, it would evaporate before it reaches the roof of the ground. We will think of manufacturing sand storm... It will be handy in cases like this. Probably mid-east should invest in inventing a technology for that. Will be in par with southern continents in manipulating match results.

  • Jo on October 25, 2013, 16:45 GMT

    @chechong0114: Good one dude... it is true... In the fast paced world, entertainment thru sport should be KISS (Keep It Short n Sweat). Outstanding fielding efforts are phenomenal in T20. Test cricket or even ODI for that fact cant even stay in the competing zone. T20 is the one that brought the exceptional fielding skills out from players. For the so long played tests or ODIs never had the exceptional quality of T20s on the fielding side. In fact, that is the main reason, T20 is so entertaining. You have equal contest in all departments (100%) of the life time of each ball being counted. Bowler/Batsman/Fielder(s) and back to Bowler. Only complaint I have is, Ground (outfield) size must be standardized to single and universal one. All T20s must be played on the same ground size, like footbal/soccer. Atleast that will make the records made are comparable. Now-a-days even if they score 400 in 20 overs, there is no feeling of it being a greater achievement. It is a shame for the game.

  • Jo on October 25, 2013, 16:19 GMT

    @jb633: I wish Pak to take it 2-0. You know after two escapes of a batsman like ABD, which is the major difference between slim lead and enormous lead. If you see outside Day2, the SA score would be under 200, in fact under 170. But cant whine on those two. Cas, they could have applied breaks properly, if Pak bowlers/firelders wud have been aggressive as the first test. Sad to see them collapse on the very second test after their thumping win on 1st. Probably the players need to learn to be consistent performers. Now-a-days schedule is so tight, even for test matches, they dont get enough gap, to maintain their fitness. The main reason why it is very common to see teams (regardless of their standings) collapse very frequently than it use to be 7-8 years back.

    I just wonder how Biff and ABD can keep thier cool for the whole day? Did they have any cooler under their helmets? Just kidding...

  • Jo on October 25, 2013, 15:48 GMT

    @most SA fans. I agree that if Biff has a ton or double, he put all possible efforts to make it a win. When such thing happens, it is for sure his team don't have to loose. In majority cases, this kind of scores only resulted in draws. Only supporting point in your comments are Pak had a feable score in their first and have 2 more days to go. Remember it is possible for Pak to play out the remaining days, if their batsmen decided on it. If this is a reverse case and happened inside SA/Aus/Eng. There would surely be a weather problem washing out as much days required to deny the visiting teams their well deserved victory. It happened so many times, to an extent, I strongly believed that, Sub-Continent teams can never win in SA/Aus/Eng. Atleast most managed to win a series in Eng. But SA/Aus somehow manufacture the weather at their will.

  • Jo on October 25, 2013, 15:29 GMT

    @ICCexpert: You dont belong to cricket my friend. You can probably be MLBexpert.

  • Jo on October 25, 2013, 15:26 GMT

    @Carl Jenaway: In none of the cricket history (including future)... Swan can never be better than Ajmal on any given ground/pitch. He cant even better Zulfiqar Babar. But for eng team, Panesar is always best than Swan. If the test cricket quality is asjust 5 years before, swan would have retired by noiw.

  • Jo on October 25, 2013, 14:32 GMT

    Pak had the worst day on Day2.If you take that day out, the match wud be even. I dont say that 99 is a good score. Pak is capable of defending that and rattle of opposition under 80 runs. Pak still have a chance to take it close, if they play out remaining days. If Smith/ABD can stay for the whole day, why not Misbah and Asad. They just have to pull their socks and show what they are really capable of.

  • Dummy4 on October 25, 2013, 11:54 GMT

    Misbah-ul-Haq should be the captain for Pakistan team as long as he WANTS to play and can play HE thinks for the TEST WC or even further if possible. But for ODI's he should play as a batsman ONLY and not captain we should make captain someone YOUNGER but EXPERIENCED maybe this way we are not gambling with Pakistan cricket future and maybe just making the wise decisions Pakistan cricket requires.

  • Ata on October 25, 2013, 10:42 GMT

    @Solid_Snake: :) I agree on thoughts with you but not copying, in last match when Pakistan won, pak fans were joying but ignored that Pakistan lost 3 wickets in chase of 40 runs, but I wrote it was point of concern. Here some people were just bashing Saeed Ajmal for one bad day, though i dont think it was bad for him, he had already got 2 wickets , but he has given reply to them and shut their mouths today. Yesterday AB and Smith were looking extra ordinary, though AB was dropped, so people started to think they will play same game today and one will score 400 and other will score 200, but they forget every day is not Holiday.

  • I on October 25, 2013, 9:09 GMT

    @ICCexpert Pakistan almost won the first test by an innings, there's no fluke in that. You may as well say that this performance by South Africa is a "fluke" and it would make about as much sense. Both teams know when they've been outplayed in this series. Misbah's still the only one putting up performances, and the player we should be most proud of, yet people keep bashing him. It just goes to show that we don't deserve to have a player of his quality, I'm sure fans of other countries look on with disbelief at the way people constantly bash him.