Dubai:Graeme Smith struck a fighting century to put South Africa on track for a big total against a hapless Pakistan attack on the opening day of the first Test here on Friday.
Smith hit eight boundaries in his 152-ball 100 and shared a 153-run opening stand with Alviro Petersen (67) before Hashim Amla (80) built on the good work to help South Africa, who won the toss and batted, reach 311-3 at close.
Jacques Kallis, who shared a 117-run third wicket stand with Amla, was unbeaten on a well-played 53 with nighwatchman Paul Harris unbeaten on nought as South Africa piled on the runs at will on a flat Dubai Stadium pitch.
The Dubai Stadium became Test cricket's 102nd venue, but failed to attract more than 1,000 people in a ground where people have mostly watched one-day cricket since it was built last year.
Kallis has so far hit five boundaries during his 106-ball patient knock.
South Africa's batsmen feasted on a slow, flat and grass-less pitch as none of the Pakistani bowlers could stop the run-flow as Smith and Petersen gave their team a solid start.
Smith, initially a little shaky as he survived close shouts, hit three boundaries off paceman Umar Gul after lunch, the first of which brought up his 29th Test half-century.
He continued in the same vein, pushing left-arm spinner Abdul Rehman for a single to bring up his century after 215 minutes of batting, inclusive of eight boundaries.
But Smith fell on the very next delivery, hooking paceman Wahab Riaz straight into the hands of Taufiq Umer standing at deep square-leg.
Smith and Petersen took South Africa to 101 without loss by lunch, before Pakistan struck twice in the second session. Petersen, ruled not out by Australian umpire Daryl Harper when on nine after television replays showed he had edged paceman Umar Gul to debutant wicketkeeper Adnan Akmal, hit eight boundaries.
He was the first to go when Younis Khan leapt high to take a brilliant catch at short mid-wicket.
Amla and Kallis punished the bowlers without any trouble, before Amla fell caught behind to Adnan with just three overs to finish. Amla hit seven boundaries during his 152-ball innings.
Pakistan, seeking their first series win in four years, started the match on the wrong note when their most experienced batsman, Mohammad Yousuf, was ruled out of the match with a recurring groin injury minutes before the toss. Yousuf was later ruled out of the second Test and will return home.
That forced Pakistan to include Umar Akmal in the squad as they went in with two spinners, Rehman and Saeed Ajmal, and two seamers, Gul and Riaz.
South Africa, who won the preceding Twenty20 series 2-0 and one-dayers 3-2, also included both their spinners Johan Botha and Harris, with Kallis giving them an additional option in fast bowling.
Pakistan handed a Test cap to wicketkeeper Adnan after Zulqarnain Haider fled to London on Monday, saying he had received death threats.
The second Test starts in Abu Dhabi from November 20. The series was shifted to United Arab Emirates after South Africa refused to tour Pakistan over security fears.