PRETORIA Feb 23 (Reuters) - AB de Villiers hit his 16th test century as South Africa posted 409 all out in their first innings on the second morning of the third test against Pakistan on Saturday.
Pakistan reached nine without loss at lunch with Mohammad Hafeez (one ) and Imran Farhat (nine) safely negotiating their way to the interval at Centurion.
De Villiers reached his century off 186 balls, needing just two runs on the second morning to complete the milestone.
His innings helped take the Proteas past the 400-mark, which looks to be an excellent first innings score on a wicket that has variable bounce already and widening cracks.
The visitors took the remaining four South African wickets for the addition of 75 runs on the second morning with Rahat Ali recording career best figures of six for 127 in just his second test.
The seamer was erratic at times, bowling six wides and as many no-balls as he sprayed the ball, but troubled the batsmen whenever he got his line and length right.
De Villiers and Vernon Philander resumed on the overnight score of 334 for six and put on a South African record seventh-wicket stand against Pakistan of 129 runs.
The previous mark of 106 was set by Shaun Pollock and Dave Richardson in Rawalpindi 15 years ago.
They took the attack to the bowlers with Philander particularly severe on anything short, crashing his way to a career-best 74 before he was caught at first slip by Hafeez off the bowling of part-timer Younus Khan.
De Villiers also perished trying to up the scoring rate, his pull off Rahat Ali picking out Asad Shafiq in the deep at square leg and he took a good running catch.
Scoreless Rory Kleinveldt top-edged off the same bowler to Saeed Ajmal at mid-on, while debutante Kyle Abbott (13) was the last man out, bowled by Rahat Ali with a ball that kept low.
South Africa lead the three-match series 2-0 having won the first test in Johannesburg by 211 runs, before clinching the series with a four-wicket victory in Cape Town. (Editing by Amlan Chakraborty)