A strong Pakistan team has defeated the proteas by seven wickets with 4 sessions left in the game’s play. Pakistan go 1-0 up in the series with one more match remaining in the test series.
Debutant Nuaman Ali and experienced Fawad Alam were the key performers of the match. Fawad Alam, who had spent 11 years playing domestic cricket, finally after getting an international opportunity, slams a well deserved ton in the first innings.
Nauman Ali on the other hand has picked his five-wicket haul on debut in the second innings, thus wrapping the tail-enders quickly and limiting the target to just 87 runs.
In the first innings, South Africa posted a low total of 220 runs with only Dean Elgar being the top scorer with 58 runs. After that, Pakistan were in trouble as they were struggling on 33 for 4 at the end of day 1.
On the start of day 2, Pakistan came out with great intent as Azhar Ali and Fawad Alam stitched a crucial 94 runs partnership which eventually proved to be the turning point of the match. Pakistan batted the entire day 2 by losing just four wickets.
Pakistan’s tailenders contribution was cherry on the cake which extended the lead to 158 runs. When South Africa came out to bat for the second innings, the top-order batters of proteas had nullified the big lead of 158 runs courtesy half centuries from Aiden Markram and Van der Dussen.
With not less than half an hour left for the close of play on day 3, South Africa were at a good position of 174-1 until the collapse started followed by which South Africa lost 4 wickets scoring 184 runs. Yasir Shah was looking so lethal that every delivery was an event in that spell.
When South Africa resumed their innings on day 4, a lot better was expected from the middle order batters. However, Yasir Shah and Nauman Ali were too good for the batsmen to even survive on that wicket. South Africa eventually were bundled out for 245 runs.
Pakistan were given a low target of 87 runs, which at once looked as if the batsmen were about to mess up when they lost two back to back wickets for 23 runs. However skipper Babar and Azhar Ali ensured that they crossed the finish line with ease.
“Obviously our first innings batting performance let us down, there were a couple of soft dismissals and it led to our losing the game,” South African skipper Quinton De Kock said after the match
Babar Azam gave credit to the entire team especially the debutant Nuaman Ali quoting – “I think this victory came through because all the 11 players contributed and especially the way Nouman Ali bowled in this match. It was his debut and there was pressure on him against a good team, but he delivered. We need to trust our players.”
Pakistan has earned 60 points for the World Test Championship and will go with a winning moment for the next match at Rawalpindi. The South African batters will have to show a lot of temperament and character to tackle the Pakistani bowlers for the next test match.
Report by Vijay Sharma of CricBets.