Pakistan wasted little time in wrapping up the first test against South Africa, in what turned out to be a convincing seven wicket win, with a day to spare. Hosts Pakistan, who wrestled control back in this test match, at the end of day three, were full value for their win.
South Africa, after being skittled all out for 220, in their first innings, did manage to get back into the match after they had reduced the Asian side to 27-4. Fawad Alam and Azhar Ali however, were the key for Pakistan as they frustrated The Proteas and gradually got back in the game.
This defensive rearguard, essentially knocked the wind out of South Africa’s sails and since then Pakistan have been on top. South Africa did threaten to get back into the game when Aiden Markram (74) and Rassie Van Der Dussen (64) combined for a second wicket stand of 127.
When the 30-year old Van Der Dussen, was dismissed from the bowling of Yasir Shah, the next eight South African wickets fell for just 70 runs. From being in a solid position of 175-2, the tourists inexplicably crumbled to 245 all out.
Debutant Nauman Ali, was the chief destroyer for Pakistan as the slow left armer claimed an impressive 5-35. This batting collapse by Quinton De Kock’s South Africa, meant that Pakistan just needed 88 to win, which they duly did with seven wickets to spare.
There was a couple of hiccups early on as both openers Abid Ali (10) and Imran Butt (12) fell in quick succession. Any hopes of a dramatic win for South Africa, were dashed as experienced pair Azhar Ali (31 not out) and captain Babar Azam (30) helped steady any nerves.
When the third wicket did fall, the wicket of captain Babar Azam leg before wicket off the bowling of Keshav Maharaj, there was just two runs needed to win. Those two runs were scored by the first innings centurion Fawad Alam, who won the game with a four.
South Africa, after being well beaten in this test will be looking to exact their revenge in the next test. The next test will be on 4th February in Rawalpindi.
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