| Paul Adams in action against Pakistan on the third day of the first Test in Lahore on Sunday. (Reuters)
Lahore: South African left-arm spinner Paul Adams claimed a career-best seven for 128 and Pakistan’s Asim Kamal missed a century on debut by one run on Sunday to leave the first Test evenly poised after Day 3.
South Africa, having conceded a lead of 81, were 99 for one in their second innings — for an overall lead of 18 runs. Pakistan were earlier bowled out for 401 in reply to the visitors’ 320.
Herschelle Gibbs was lucky to be there on 56 with Boeta Dippenaar on 25. Gibbs should have been caught on 13, but wicketkeeper Moin Khan floored a simple catch off Mohammed Sami.
Gibbs cashed in on the ‘life’ with trademark cover drives and completed his half-century off 87 balls with six fours and a mistimed six over the wicketkeeper’s head off Shoaib Akhtar.
Akhtar, who will miss the second Test in Faisalabad and two ODIs for using abusive language on the field, dismissed Graeme Smith.
Earlier, Adams claimed career-best figures to restrict Pakistan’s lead to under 100. Adams’ previous best effort was six for 55, against India in Kanpur in 1996-97.
The left-handed Kamal, 27, hit Adams for two boundaries in the 90s before dragging Andre Nel’s good length delivery back onto his stumps. Kamal showed good temperament and technique during his five-hour innings and hit 11 fours and a six off 246 balls.
Pakistan had resumed at the overnight score of 275 for four, and Kamal and Shoaib Malik posted a record fifth wicket stand of 99. The previous best for Pakistan against South Africa for the fifth wicket was 54 between Yousuf Youhana and Faisal Iqbal in Cape Town last year.
Adams said his performance was a good answer to those questioning his place in the team. “A lot of people back home had written me off as an international player. They also questioned my inclusion in the team for the Pakistan tour. So I feel really good about my performance today.”
“I just stuck to the basics and tried to bowl to one spot and length. It was all a question of patience because the Pakistani batsmen tend to play spinners very well. The main thing was I bowled consistently. I was not very consistent in England in the second innings. Today I was very positive out there,” he said. (Agencies)