Proteas in the lead thanks to Smith, Tahir

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South Africa led Pakistan by 29 runs at stumps on day one of the second Test in Dubai, sitting on 128 for three after Imran Tahir wrecked the hosts' batting line-up earlier in the day.

South Africa led Pakistan by 29 runs at stumps on day one of the second Test in Dubai, sitting on 128 for three after Imran Tahir wrecked the hosts' batting line-up earlier in the day.

Leg-spinner Tahir justified selection ahead of all-rounder Robin Peterson, securing his first Test five-fer to reduce Pakistan to 99 all out in the afternoon session, with tail-ender Zulfiqur Babar top-scoring with 25.

The Proteas then responded by losing their own wickets, though skipper Graeme Smith's gritty unbeaten 67 ensured a decent response as Alviro Petersen, Dean Elgar and Jacques Kallis failed, leaving Dale Steyn as nightwatchman.

Fast bowler Steyn, who was nursing a hamstring injury, passed a late fitness test to clinch three key wickets, too. Host skipper Misbah-ul-Haq's decision to bat first after winning the toss, indeed, did not go according to plan.

Steyn set a remarkable precedent with Wednesday's second delivery, removing opener Khurram Manzoor for a duck with some late swing. The pace ace, later, got rid of the veteran Younis Khan – whose poke outside the off-stump left a lot to be desired.

Tahir's approach was characteristically animated, and a trio of telling blows before lunch went a long way in rectifying the wrongs gathered during last year's tour of Australia.

Opener Shan Masood had no answer to plenty of flight, Misbah departed despite an LBW review and wicketkeeper-batsman Adnan Akmal was ultimately cramped for room. Asad Shafiq and Mohammad Irfan were both bowled by the leggy in the afternoon.

Steyn took the final wicket though, as Pakistan ended on 99 for the second time in two Tests here, though they did go on to win the match against England the last time this happened. Steyn bowled Junaid Khan for four to end the innings.

The Proteas' reply got off to a steady of slow start, with Petersen and Smith needing a solid stand after failures in Abu Dhabi. They lasted nearly 11 overs and put on 37 runs before the partnership ended.

Petersen, who has not made more than 30 in his past nine Test knocks, was out for 26, trapped LBW by Babar. After a long chat with his skipper, they reviewed it, but it was plumb in front and he had to trudge off.

This brought Elgar, in the side for an absent Hashim Amla, to the middle at three, looking to justify his inclusion and up his average past its current 32. He reached one off 11 balls by tea, while Smith sat on 12.

Elgar's effort was no destined to go past 23 runs as he fell to Ajmal, before Kallis also departed to the spinner. The veteran faced 30 balls for his seven runs, and did not bother to review the plumb decision.

This left Steyn with 20 minutes to bat alongside his skipper, who himself faced 138 balls for his 67, surviving a close review of his own and saved by the umpire's call. Steyn was on three off 20 balls at the close.

<b>Pakistan:</b> Shan Masood, Khurram Manzoor, Azhar Ali, Younis Khan, Misbah-ul-Haq, Asad Shafiq, Adnan Akmal, Saeed Ajmal, Zulfiqar Babar, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Irfan.

<b>South Africa:</b> Graeme Smith, Alviro Petersen, Dean Elgar, Jacque Kallis, AB de Villiers, JP Duminy, Faf du Plessis, Vernon Philander, Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel, Imran Tahir.

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