Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates: Captain Misbah-ul-Haq finally ended his two-year century drought in test cricket and stretched Pakistan's first innings lead to a formidable 180 runs against South Africa on Wednesday on the third day of the first cricket test.
Misbah's 100 off 187 balls with eight fours lifted Pakistan to 429-8 at tea after South Africa was bowled out for 249 in its first innings.
Misbah featured in two fruitful partnerships, adding 112 runs with Khurram Manzoor (146) and contributed further 82 with Asad Shafiq (54), dashing South Africa's hopes of keeping Pakistan's lead less than 120 runs.
Dale Steyn finally got his first wicket in his 24th over when he had Misbah trapped leg before wicket just two balls after the Pakistan captain raised his first test hundred since scoring 102 against the West Indies in May 2011 in St. Kitts.
Misbah showed immense control, especially playing against spinners as he did not even hesitate to play reverse sweep before Steyn had him caught at the crease off a ball that came into him.
Shafiq also showed lots of composure in dominating the fifth wicket stand as he elegantly cut, pulled and drove through the covers in his innings 105-ball knock with six fours.
Shafiq perished soon after reaching his half century when he was smartly caught at short midwicket by Alviro Petersen off J.P. Duminy's offspin.
South Africa also got two more successes in the afternoon session when Vernon Philander (3-75) had Saeed Ajmal caught behind and Steyn's direct throw saw Zulfiqar Babar well short of his crease at the non-striker.
Earlier, Pakistan added 89 runs in the first session for the loss of Manzoor after resuming at the overnight 263-3.
Manzoor slashed at a wide delivery of Philander and was well caught by Jacques Kallis in the second slip as the batsmen added a further 15 to his overnight 131.
Manzoor's brilliant 146 off 266 balls was Pakistan's highest individual test knock against the Proteas with 15 fours and spanned almost 6½ hours. Azhar Mahmood held Pakistan's previous record when he made 136 in Johannesburg in 1998.
South Africa had hoped to rattle the Pakistan middle-order with the second new ball, but Manzoor and Misbah started off the third day with confidence.
Misbah completed his half century off 85 balls when he drove Philander to square leg and ran two before Manzoor departed in the sixth over of the day.