KARACHI, Oct 1 (Reuters) South Africa made slow but solid progress on the opening day of the first test against Pakistan at the National stadium today, reaching a comfortable 195 for two at tea.
Hashim Amla (49) and Jacques Kallis (46) had put on 86 undefeated runs for the third wicket after the visitors lost just one wicket in the second session when opener Herschelle Gibbs was out for 54 caught at gully by Mohammad Hafeez slashing at a ball from pacer Umar Gul.
Gibbs went after reaching his 25th half century and fourth against Pakistan. He hit eight fours in his 106 balls knock.
Pakistan squandered chances to dismiss Amla and Kallis.
Amla survived a run-out chance on 31, while Kallis was dropped by wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal with his tally at 36.
Otherwise the two batted solidly with Amla hitting three fours and a six in his 91 balls knock and Kallis spanking six boundaries from 88 balls.
Both survived a probing third spell from Gul, who got the ball to reverse swing appreciably and also pitched in some perfect swinging yorkers.
On a perfect pitch for spinners on which South Africa elected to bat first, skipper Graeme Smith was the first casualty of the opening session when he was trapped leg before by part time off-spinner Mohammad Hafeez for 42 after an opening stand of 87 with Gibbs.
Pakistan are playing with two specialist spinners, Danish Kaneria and debutant Abdul Rehman. Rehman gives Pakistan a left arm spinner for the first time in a test since 1999 when Nadeem Khan played against India.
South Africa dropped Shaun Pollock for the first time in his 107 test career and fast bowler Morne Morkel was out through injury.
REUTERS TB RN1610