Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Smith and de Villiers amassed a mammoth 326-run partnership
South Africa captain Graeme Smith and wicketkeeper batsman AB de Villiers left Pakistan battered and bruised as they nearly batted for the entire second day of the second Test in Dubai.
Smith ended up scoring a mammoth double century, while de Villiers smashed a magnificent century as well.
South Africa started out the day on 128/3 with Smith unbeaten on 67 runs and nightwatchman Dale Steyn on three.
However, Steyn could only add four runs to his overnight score as he was clean bowled by Mohammad Irfan for seven.
From that point on, it was all South Africa as de Villiers came out to join his captain.
Smith and De Villiers registered a jaw-dropping partnership of 326, during which Smith brought up his double century and de Villiers his century.
The 326-run stand between Smith and de Villiers is South Africa’s new record for a fifth wicket partnership, beating the 267-run stand Jacques Kallis and Ashwell Prince put together against the West Indies in Antigua in 2005.
It is also the Proteas’ second-highest partnership against Pakistan and the ninth-highest partnership in South Africa’s cricketing history.
Smith double century was extremely historical as it took him past 9000 Test runs, making him only the 12th cricketer to accomplish such a feat.
Smith also went from 15th to 12th on the all-time list of most Test runs scored, surpassing Pakistan’s Inzamam-ul-Haq and Javed Miandad, along with England’s Graham Gooch.
This was Smith’s fifth double hundred in Test matches and he is the only South African batsman to have compiled such a record.
Gary Kirsten is the next South African batsman on the list with three double centuries.
This was also Smith’s fourth double century as captain of South Africa.
He is now tied in second place with Australia’s Don Bradman and Michael Clarke on the list of captains with the most double hundreds.
West Indies legend Brian Lara tops the list with five double centuries next to his name.
Smith finished the day on 227 off 367 balls, which included 16 boundaries.
The 16 boundaries hit by Smith are the least for any batsman scoring 200 or more since 2000.
However, de Villiers deserves just as much credit as he stayed at the crease with Smith for almost the entire day.
De Villiers remained unbeaten on 157 off 262 deliveries, which included 16 boundaries and a massive six.
Irfan was the only bowler to take a wicket throughout the entire three sessions of play.
This is also the first time Pakistan pace bowler Junaid Khan has bowled more than 20 overs in a Test match without taking a wicket.
Furthermore, the 99 runs he gave away is the most he has conceded in an innings in his Test career.
South Africa ended the day on 460/4 and have an immense lead of 361 runs.
Smith and de Villiers will resume their innings tomorrow at 10:00 local time or 06:00 GMT.