Abu Dhabi: Dashing batsman AB de Villiers became the highest scorer in a Test innings for South Africa when he made 278 not out against Pakistan on the second day of the second Test at Abu Dhabi Stadium on Sunday.
The 24-year-old beat the previous best score in a Test innings of 277 hit by current South African skipper Graeme Smith, against England at Birmingham in 2003.
Pakistani resistance was by turns futile and worthwhile; debutante Tanvir Ahmed bagged a six-for by the close and an important unbroken 57-run stand between Azhar Ali and Taufeeq Umar allowed them to return to fight another day.
De Villier's best helped South Africa declare their first innings at 584/9, soon after tea. He hit 23 boundaries and six sixes during his record-breaking 418-ball knock.
The 26-year-old right-handed batsman notched his second double hundred to help South Africa, put in by Pakistan on Saturday, gain an upper hand at tea on a pitch which is expected to take spin on the last two days.
De Villiers hit paceman Umar Gul to backward point for his 14th boundary to complete his second double hundred, eventually improving on his previous best of 217 not out he made against India at Ahmedabad in April 2008.
De Villiers added 73 for the sixth wicket with Mark Boucher (45), 42 with Johan Botha (12) for the seventh and another 59 for the eighth with Dale Steyn, who made 27.
Earlier, Ahmed became the tenth Pakistani bowler to take five wickets or more when he bowled Boucher with a sharp incoming delivery. Boucher hit six boundaries during his 90-ball innings.
De Villiers continued in the same vein, hitting Ahmed for three boundaries in an over to complete his 150, taking 282 balls to reach the landmark.
In between left-arm spinner Abdul Rehman dismissed Botha while Ahmed removed Harris but De Villiers continued to punish the hapless bowling at will.
The two-match series is tied at 0-0 after the first Test in Dubai ended in a draw on Tuesday.
West Indian Brian Lara holds the record for the highest Test score of 400, made against England at Antigua in 2004.
South Africa 584 for 9 declared (de Villiers 278*, Kallis 105, Ahmed 6-120)
Pakistan 59 for for 1 (Ali 34*)
Status Pakistan trail by 525 runs