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Pakistan strikes after Misbah ton

Trailing by 193 on the first innings, South Africa slumps to 72 for 4 at stumps on third day

Pakistan strikes after Misbah ton - Cricket News
Misbah-ul-Haq led from the front with a century to give Pakistan a big first innings lead.
Centuries have been in short supply in Misbah-ul-Haq’s otherwise stellar career, but he added a fourth in his 42nd match on the third day of the first Test against South Africa at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium on Wednesday (October 16) which will surely count as his favourite if it helps towards victory.
Misbah made exactly 100 from 187 balls to help his team to a total of 442 all out and a daunting first-innings lead of 193 against a toiling South African attack. By the close of play, South Africa was in desperate trouble at 72 for 4 having lost Graeme Smith, Jacques Kallis and Hashim Amla, their ‘big three’.
AB de Villiers will resume on the fourth morning in the company of Dale Steyn, the nightwatchman, but with a deficit of 121, the South Africans will need to dig as deeply into their box of escape tricks as ever before.
Asad Shafiq contributed a valuable half-century and Adnan Akmal weighed in with 32 before Steyn, showing clear signs of improvement during the course of six spells, collected the final two wickets to finish with an analysis of 3 for 88 from almost 29 overs in the Pakistani first innings.
Khurram Manzoor, the opener, added just 15 to his overnight score of 131 but had the satisfaction of passing Azhar Mahmood’s 136 as the highest score made by a Pakistan batsman against South Africa. His highly accomplished 146 from 266 deliveries with 15 boundaries ended with a loose drive against a Vernon Philander awayswinger and a rasping catch at second slip by Kallis, who moved into third place on the all-time list with 195 catches behind just Rahul Dravid (210) and Ricky Ponting (196).
South Africa’s plans to restrict the lead to a ‘manageable’ 100 were scuppered in belligerent fashion by Shafiq and Misbah, who batted through until lunch without further mishap.
Shafiq’s concentration wavered five overs after the interval, however, when he chipped a soft catch to midwicket against JP Duminy’s offspin and departed for a bustling 54 with six boundaries and a varied mix of quick singles, reverse sweeps and cheeky dabs to cover and third man.
Misbah, however, was a man on a mission. After a couple of nervy moments in the 90s, the 39-year-old confidently whipped Duminy out to midwicket for a single to become the oldest Test centurion since England’s Graham Gooch in 1994. No doubt the usual emotion and relief of reaching the milestone was present but, in truth, the delivery with which Steyn trapped him lbw shortly afterwards was good enough to have removed most batsmen, at any stage of their innings.
With so much time remaining in the game, it was clear that Misbah would continue the innings until the bitter end, seeking every extra run and as much scoreboard pressure on the World Test champions as possible. Saeed Ajmal had made 13 when he was ruled out, caught behind, by the third umpire.  A rueful smile and shake of the batsman’s head as he departed was emulated by the majority of viewers.
Zulfiqar Babar was run out by a direct hit from Steyn’s notoriously accurate and powerful right arm and the great fast bowler then used it in its straight position to have Junaid Khan caught attempting an ambitious hook shot while Akmal’s leg stump was uprooted by a classic yorker.
Mohammad Irfan once again troubled South Africa’s openers during his opening spell. The giant left-arm seamer could even have given his country the perfect start with the first ball of the innings when Smith lost sight of a waist-high full toss. A resounding lbw appeal was turned down, Irfan pleaded with Misbah to review, and Smith survived on ‘Umpire’s Call’ when Hawkeye showed the ball landing on top of the leg bail.
Alviro Petersen gloved Irfan to the ‘keeper shortly after and Pakistan was jubilant, although its joy was to increase significantly in the final 90 minutes of the day when Smith was stumped charging Ajmal, Kallis was plumb lbw for his first duck against Pakistan and Amla edged a beauty from Babar shortly before the close.

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