| South African opener Herschelle Gibbs en route to his 98 as Pakistan ’keeper Moin Khan looks on in Faisalabad on Friday. (Reuters)
Faisalabad: Herschelle Gibbs fell two runs short of an 11th Test hundred as South Africa struggled on the first day of the second Test against Pakistan on Friday.
Gibbs was trapped leg-before by leg-spinner Mushtaq Ahmed after a chanceless innings, having faced 219 balls and hit 13 fours and a six during his four-and-a-half-hour stay, as the South Africans closed at 256 for nine.
The touring side, already one down in the two-Test series, had fought back from 40 for three only to lose five wickets, including that of Gibbs, during the final session.
The tall, lanky Shabbir Ahmed led the Pakistan attack in the absence of strike bowlers Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammed Sami.
He rattled the top order with the wickets of Graeme Smith and Boeta Dippenaar and finished with four for 63. Allrounder Abdul Razzaq took the wickets of Gary Kirsten and Mark Boucher.
Gibbs was the one batsman to stand out, rebuilding the innings cautiously during a 108-run stand for the fourth wicket with Kirsten, who made 54.
But Gibbs’ dismissal saw South Africa crumble after reaching 194 for 4.
It was a disappointing end to a fine innings as he refused to allow the bowlers to dictate on a pitch with encouraging bounce and plenty of turn.
The left-handed Kirsten, meanwhile, has now accumulated 828 runs on the sub-continent in 10 Tests against India and Pakistan. The second new ball, taken after 83.4 overs, paid immediate dividends as Razzaq struck with the second ball by removing Boucher for 27.
Leg-spinner Danish Kaneria, who had taken seven wickets in the first Test, again impressed, although he only claimed one wicket, that of Jacques Kallis.
Kaneria bowled unchanged for 15 overs after lunch, conceding just 17 runs. He finished with one for 63 from 32 overs while the 33-year-old Mushtaq suffered by comparison, taking one for 48 in 13 overs.