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S. Africa takes control

DUBAI: South Africa held the upper hand in the first Test against Pakistan after paceman Morne Morkel grabbed five wickets and off-spinner Johan Botha took three on the third day at the Dubai Stadium on Sunday.

South Africa reached 139 for two at stumps to increase its lead to 271 with eight wickets in hand and a deteriorating pitch which is likely to take spin and have low bounce as the game progresses.

Hashim Amla, with 44, and Jacques Kallis, on 32, were unbeaten at stumps after Morkel (five for 54) and Botha (three for 61) helped South Africa wrap up Pakistan's first innings on 248.

Kallis and Amla strengthened South Africa's position during their unfinished 63-run stand for the third wicket. South Africa got off to another confident start before Graeme Smith (34) and Alviro Petersen (26) fell victim to questionable umpiring decisions by Sri Lankan umpire Asoka de Silva.

Smith was given leg-before when he tried to sweep against Saeed Ajmal's off-spin, but television replays showed the ball missing the off-stump.

Smith, who made 100 in the first innings, also became the second highest scorer for South Africa in all Test cricket, when on 20 he overhauled former opener Gary Kirten's tally of 7289 (101 Tests).

Smith, playing his 87th Test, is behind Kallis who has scored 11199 in 141 Tests before his second knock in this match. — AFP

South Africa — 1st innings: 380.

Pakistan — 1st innings: M. Hafeez c Smith b Harris 60, T. Umer lbw b Morkel 42, Azhar Ali c Amla b Morkel 56, Younus Khan c de Villiers b Botha 35, Misbah c Amla b Botha 9, U. Akmal c Steyn b Botha 4, A. Akmal c Boucher b Steyn 10, A. Rehman c de Villiers b Morkel 1, U. Gul (not out) 12, W. Riaz c Boucher b Morkel 5, S. Ajmal c Boucher b Morkel 2; Extras: (lb-12) 12; Total: (in 95 overs) 248.

Fall of wickets: 1-105, 2-111, 3-176, 4-196, 5-202, 6-220, 7-225, 8-228, 9-246.

South Africa bowling: Steyn 18-3-58-1, Morkel 21-7-54-5, Harris 25-7-47-1, Kallis 8-3-16-0, Botha 23-6-61-3.

South Africa — 2nd innings: A. Petersen lbw b Rehman 26, G. Smith lbw b Ajmal 34, Hashim Amla (batting) 44, J. Kallis (batting) 32, Extras: (b-1, lb-1, nb-1) 3; Total: (for two wkts, in 48 overs) 139.

Fall of wickets: 1-47, 2-76.

Pakistan bowling: Gul 8-0-34-0, Younis 3-0-15-0, Rehman 15-4-37-1, Hafeez 11-3-20-0, Ajmal 11-1-31-1 .

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