Dubai: Former Pakistan captain Younis Khan scored unbeaten 131 as Pakistan reached 343 for 3 on the fifth and final day of the first Test match against South Africa on Tuesday.
The 32-year-old batsman reached his 17th Test century with a towering six off spinner Johan Botha three overs before the tea interval to further Pakistan's fight. They still need to bat out 29 overs to draw or score 167 for an unlikely win.
Pakistan, set a daunting 451-run target, owed their fight for survival to Younis who is playing his first Test since July last year because of an indefinite ban and differences with fellow players.
Younis supported by skipper Misbah-ul-Haq, unbeaten on 76, as the pair added 186 runs for an unbroken fourth wicket stand-- a new record in Pakistan-South Africa Test matches.
The previous best of 119 was between Jacques Kallis and Hashim Amla at Johannesburg in 2007.
Younis has so far hit nine boundaries and four sixes during his 230-ball knock, his third century against South Africa.
Misbah, who also completed his half-century with a six off Botha, has so far hit eight boundaries and a six off 185-balls and together with Younis frustrated the South Africans who managed only Azhar Ali's wicket in the two sessions.
Ali scored 63 before he was bowled by spinner Paul Harris before lunch, but not before adding 82 for the third wicket with Younis to keep Pakistan's hopes of saving the Test alive.
Ali, who made 56 in the first innings, hit seven boundaries during his dour 150-ball knock.
With scant assistance from the pitch, South Africa also fell short on fielding as they dropped three crucial catches - two off Younis and one off Misbah, hurting their chances of taking the lead in the two-Test series.
Resuming at 109-2, Pakistan had a lucky escape in the fourth over of the day when Younis, on 16, edged paceman Dale Steyn, but wicket-keeper Mark Boucher failed to hold a regulation catch towards his right.
Younis also had luck at 73 when Kallis failed to hold a difficult chance in the slips off Steyn.
Misbah was also lucky when Hashim Amla dropped a bat-pad edge off Johan Botha at short-leg when the batsman had made eight.
South Africa 380 and 318 for 2 dec (Amla 118*, Kallis 135*)
Pakistan 248 and 343 for 3 (Younis 131*, Misbah 76*)