Pakistan thrashes South Africa in first Test to take 1-0 lead

Brashna Kasi
Pakistan win first Test against South Africa / Photo: PCB

Pakistan won the first Test against Proteas by seven wickets after successfully chasing the 88-run target at National Stadium Karachi (NSK) on Friday. 

The home team took 1-0 lead in the two-match series against South Africa after Fawad Alam hit the winning runs on day four of the first Test.

Fawad came to bat and hit the winning boundary after skipper Babar Azam lost his wicket to Keshav Maharaj, twice in the same match. 

However, Babar (30), who was making his Test captaincy debut on home soil, stayed calm along with Azhar Ali (31*) while chasing the target after Pakistan lost two quick wickets post lunch break. 

The duo contributed a 63-run partnership for third wicket ensuring a comfortable chase for Team Green. 

Earlier at lunch, Pakistani openers Abid Ali (10) and Imran Butt (12) looked confident while batting as Pakistan were 22 for none, requiring another 66 runs to win at the end of first session.

South African batsmen continued to struggle in their second innings after getting dismissed for 245 all out Friday morning. 

Debutant Nauman Ali earned his maiden five-for after running through the visiting team's lower order. Meanwhile Yasir Shah got four wickets, exposing Proteas' struggle against spin as they lost nine wickets in the second innings to the bowling duo. 

Pakistan only require 88 runs to take 1-0 lead in the two-match Test series. 

The middle-order batting woes continued to strike Proteas on Friday morning after they lost wickets of Keshav Maharaj and skipper Quinton de Kock early in the first session.  

Maharaj was bowled by Hasan Ali on the very first ball while de Kock followed him soon afterwards, becoming Yasir Shah’s fourth dismissal of the innings.

Temba Bavuma was the only batsman who made a notable contribution of 40 runs today before his wicket became the final nail in the coffin for Proteas' battling batting line-up. 

The visiting team was struggling at 233 for six after 90 overs with just 75 runs lead. Temba Bavuma (32) and George Linde (11) were present on crease as the home team was just a wicket away from getting to South Africa batting tail.

Proteas faced one of the worst collapses as they were 175 for one at one stage and lost six wickets for just 17 runs, stumbling at 192 for six.

Earlier on Thursday, a 128-run stand between Aiden Markram and Rassie van der Dussen helped the visiting team overcome Pakistan’s lead and gain some control before a flurry of wickets late in the last session undid their hard work. 

Read: Late flurry of wickets undoes South African hard work as spin haunts again

Pak vs SA: First Test - Day 4 - Match Report - Jan 29 - Karachi