| Pakistan opener Imran Farhat after completing his century in Faisalabad on Saturday. (AFP)
Faisalabad, Oct. 25 (Reuters): Opener Imran Farhat struck a stylish, maiden century to put Pakistan in command on the second day of the second Test against South Africa on Saturday.
The 21-year-old Farhat, who shared in a record third successive 100-run first-wicket stand with Taufeeq Umar, ended the day on 123 not out, having hit 17 fours in 216 balls.
That left the home side comfortably placed on 237 for two, just 41 behind South Africa’s first innings of 278 all out.
Farhat and Umar, with 68, put on 137 runs to become the first Pakistan opening pair to score century partnerships in three successive Test innings.
The left-handed duo, who shared stands of 109 and 134 in Pakistan’s eight-wicket victory in the first Test, experienced few problems against South Africa’s attack.
Umar, who scored 111 and 63 in Lahore, raced to his eighth fifty in 17 Tests from 124 balls. However, Farhat was more aggressive, reaching his half-century with eight boundaries in 77 balls.
Although Umar fell six overs before tea, caught at mid-wicket after playing a loose shot against wrist-spinner Paul Adams, and Yasir Hameed was removed by Pollock for 21 in the final session, Pakistan dominated throughout the day.
Farhat reached his maiden Test century when he played Adams behind square on the leg side, having struck 14 fours in 179 balls.
Earlier South Africa, who had resumed on their first innings total of 256 for nine, were bowled out after 8.1 overs of play in the morning, fast bowler Shabbir Ahmed finishing with figures of four for 74. The last pair of Adams and Makhaya Ntini added 22 runs before Adams fell to leg-spinner Danish Kaneria for 14.