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Botha triple-strike rocks faltering Pakistan

South African off-spinner Johan Botha took three wickets - two in successive overs - to put Pakistan in trouble on the third day of the first cricket Test at Dubai Stadium on Sunday.

cricket Updated: Nov 14, 2010 14:40 IST

South African off-spinner Johan Botha took three wickets - two in successive overs - to put Pakistan in trouble on the third day of the first cricket Test at Dubai Stadium on Sunday.

The 28-year-old dismissed Younis Khan (35), skipper Misbah-ul-Haq (nine) and Umar Akmal (four) in 38 balls to leave Pakistan struggling at lunch on 214-5 in reply to South African first innings score of 380.

At the break, Azhar Ali was unbeaten on 50 and debutant Adnan Akmal was four not-out with Pakistan trailing South Africa by 166 runs with five wickets intact.

Resuming at 144-2, Pakistan's hopes were resting on Younis, who opened with a boundary off paceman Dale Steyn to bring up the team's 150.

South Africa piled on the pressure with five close-in fielders to keep the batsmen in check and the tactic paid off as Botha induced Younis to drive uppishly towards short mid-wicket, where AB de Villiers pulled off a diving catch.

Younis, playing his first Test since July 2009 because of a disciplinary ban, hit three boundaries.

Misbah, leading Pakistan for the first time, also fell victim to close-in fielding when a Botha delivery turned sharply and the ensuing edge was picked off by a diving Hashim Amla at short-leg.

Umar played a reckless shot trying to loft Botha over long-off but got a leading edge towards point where Steyn took a simple catch.

Ali reached a patient half-century, his third in Tests, taking 203 minutes and hitting four boundaries.