Johannesburg: Seemingly oblivious to South Africa's celebrations of Graeme Smith's 100th Test as captain, Pakistan stole the show by bowling out the Proteas for 253 on day one of the first Test.
On Smith's 32nd birthday, the Wanderers crowd was expecting a dominant showing from its long-serving leader, only for Pakistan offspinner Mohammad Hafeez to be the unexpected star. Hafeez took two key middle-order wickets before making short work of the tail to finish with figures of 4 for 16. He then opened the batting and scored all of Pakistan's runs as the tourists closed on 6 without loss.
The hype in the build-up to the Test had centered around Smith, who led South Africa for the 99th time, having also captained a World XI in a Test against Australia in 2005. Yet after Smith won the toss and elected to bat on a sunny day, Pakistan's bowlers overcame an indifferent start to grab the initiative and claim six wickets in the final session. All of South Africa's top six batsmen made starts, yet Jacques Kallis' 50 was the highest score on the day due to a combination of reckless shots and Pakistani persistence.
Although Pakistan's fast bowlers were slow to find their lengths in a wicketless opening hour, they adapted to the conditions and dismissed both Smith and his opening partner, Alviro Petersen, in the space of five deliveries. Kallis and Hashim Amla rebuilt the innings, then counterattacked after the lunch break, but Pakistan's bowlers maintained their discipline and found excellent support from their fielders to break a crucial stand.
First, Kallis was superbly caught by a diving Asad Shafiq at deep midwicket after taking on a clever bouncer from Umar Gul, and then Amla, on 37, lashed a Younis Khan delivery to gully where he was well held by Azhar Ali. South Africa fought back with a 64-run stand between AB de Villiers and Faf du Plessis, only for Hafeez to enter the attack in the 71st over and have De Villiers caught behind with his very first delivery. Du Plessis played on off Junaid Khan shortly after to depart for 41, before South Africa's lower order folded quickly in the face of the second new ball, adding just 23 runs for the final four wickets.
That left Pakistan with a tricky two overs to face at the end of the evening session, but Hafeez and Nasir Jamshed comfortably survived to make it Pakistan's day.