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De Villiers double ton takes SA to 584

Published: Monday, November 22, 2010, 10:18 [IST]
 
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De Villiers double ton takes SA to 584

With an overnight score of 311/5, South Africa began Day 2 of the second test against Pakistan obviously looking to post a mammoth total. Little did they know that they would exceed even their own expectations. The Proteas began the day at a fairly brisk rate with 5 fours coming in the first 7 overs of the day from the bats of Mark Boucher and A B de Villiers, who had already notched up a century the day before.

But Boucher went in the 100th over for 45 when Tanvir Ahmed pegged back his middle stump to claim his 5th wicket of the innings. He had managed the feat on debut as well, which made it extra special. But fortune hadn't really swung Pakistan's way, as de Villiers soon built a useful little innings with Johan Botha. The latter was lucky to be dropped in the 104th over for just 4 when he edged a ball off Mohammed Sami that flew between keeper and slip.

It seemed like the novelty of Tanvir Ahmed were all but over when de Villiers went after him in the 107th over, slapping him for three fours - one past mid on, one a straight drive and one through mid wicket. But Botha didn't last much longer as he was bowled by a beleaguered Abdur Rehman for 12. South Africa went into lunch with the score at 383/7 in 115 overs.

After the break, Dale Steyn and de Villiers batted fairly cautiously, but kept the score board ticking over. Bucking the trend, Steyn hit Rehman for a huge six in the 129th over, and followed up by smashing Gul for a four in the next. He hit another four of Gul, but eventually fell to Rehman for 27 in the 133rd over. Sensing that the end of the innings was imminent, the new batsman Harris hit Rehman for a six before de Villiers got into the act and slapped Gul in the next over for two fours.

Not to be outdone, Harris go on top of Ahmed in the 138th over, sending him for two boundaries as well. But he had played one shot too many when he got out, caught behind, to Ahmed who gleefully picked up his 6th wicket. But the South African batsmen were not going to take Ahmed's hostility lying down and Morkel hit him for three fours in the 142nd over.

Then Rehman came in for some more stick, when de Villiers gave him the charge in the 147th over to cart him for two sixes and then smash him for a four. On the gigantic score of 244, everything was going de Villiers way as he was dropped at mid wicket off Mohammad Hafeez and the ball rolled over the boundary rope. He was clearly toying with the bowling, sending Hafeez for a huge six in the next ball. Two more sixes and two more fours came off de Villiers' bat as he remained unbeaten on 278 and took his side to the mammoth score of 584, a score on which captain Graeme Smith decided to declare.

In reply, Pakistan got off to a shaky start when in the 3rd ball of the first over itself, Dale Steyn trapped Mohammad Hafeez plump in front for 2. But then the other opener Taufeeq Umar and the one-down batsman Azhar Ali steadied the innings and even counter-attacked occasionally to take Pakistan to 59/1 at stumps on Day 2. The Pakistanis still have a lot of work ahead of them if they are to save this Test match.

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