PAK vs ENG 1st Test: Pakistan thrashes South Africa by 7 wickets to take 1-0 lead

Pakistan vs South Africa: Pakistan defeated South Africa by 7 wickets in the opening Test played at Karachi to take a 1-0 lead in the two-match Test series. Fawad Alam and debut Nauman Ali shine in this clinical win.

By Mohit Sindhu, Updated : Jan 29, 2021 17:08 IST
PAK vs ENG 1st Test: Pakistan thrashes South Africa by 7 wickets to take 1-0 lead
Pakistan cricket team celebrates after defeating Proteas (Photo/gettyimages)

PAK vs SA 1st Test Highlights: Pakistan beat South Africa by 7 wickets

SA - 220 & 245 (Markram 74, van der Dussen 64; Nauman 5/35, Yasir 4/79)

PAK - 378 & 90/3 (Azhar Ali 31*, Babar Azam 30; Nortje 2/24)

Man of the Match - Fawad Alam

Pakistan thrashes South Africa by seven wickets in the opening Test at Karachi to take a 1-0 lead in the series. The hosts chased down the target of 88/3 on Day 4. With the score reading 23/2, Babar and Azhar joined forces and took the side home by scoring at the brisk rate with some fluent drives and flicks to complete the formalities. Pakistan's showstopper Fawad closed the game with a boundary. Interestingly, this is South Africa's first game in Pakistan for close to 14 years.

However, when Pakistan requiring just 2 more for a victory, Maharaj has won an LBW appeal against PAK skipper Babar Azam, he reviewed it but the third Umpire reverses the decision. Nauman Ali bagged a five-for on Test debut, while Yasir Shah also chipped in with four wickets as South Africa were bundled out for 245 in their second innings, losing their last nine wickets for only 70 runs.

The hosts would be pleased with the clinical effort on display. Pakistan all-rounder Fawad Alam guided Pakistan to safer waters in the first innings with a gritty century (109 off 245), comprising 9 fours and 2 sixes. With this stellar knock, he has been awarded 'Player of the Match'.

''Very important knock. Team was 27/4. The better we did in the first innings, the easier it would've been. Pressure is a lot at the international level, especially making a comeback after such a long time. I'm enjoying my time in the dressing room.''

''Pitch had double (variable) bounce, double pace, there were rough patches. But the talk was about applying yourself, going with the flow and not think about what's happening off the pitch. That was my thinking - to apply myself, said Fawad Alam.''

Earlier, South Africa began the day on a poor note with Maharaj getting cleaned up by a delivery from Hasan Ali that kept low. After that, South Africa skipper Quinton de Kock then lost his wicket to a soft dismissal, caught at deep short-leg off Yasir Shah. Meanwhile, the pitch has offering variable bounce, SA batters haven't shown their intent as Markram and van der Dussen did yesterday.

Temba Bavuma (40) tried his best to steady the African innings by playing some occasional drives. Linde gave him good support as the Proteas duo shared a stand of 42 for the 7th wicket and helped the visitors increase the lead which they maximize to just 87. 

Nauman bagged his maiden five-wicket haul and becomes the 12th Pakistan player to take a fifer on Test debut. Nauman was the pick of the PAK bowlers today as he ran through the South African lower-order but it was set up by Yasir Shah who also picked four key wickets.