On day four of the first Test match in Karachi on Friday, Pakistan beat South Africa by seven wickets, taking a 1-0 lead in the two match series that marks the first Proteas tour to the world in nearly 14 years.
Very fittingly, with a square cut to Keshav Maharaj for four, Fawad Alam hit the winning runs to cement what was a spectacular return to the Test unit for him as Pakistan comfortably chased South Africa’s 88 runs for victory.
Pakistan had achieved 22 without loss at lunch with Abid Ali on 10 and Imran Butt on 12, needing 88 for victory. But there seemed to be no panic as Captain Babar Azam and veteran Azhar Ali coasted to within two runs of victory, even as the openers left after adding only a run after lunch.
Maharaj stuck Babar in front for 30, paving Alam’s way to make another entry to help Pakistan cross the finish line, though a brief one.
Earlier, five wickets were taken by debutant Nauman Ali and fellow spinner Yasir Shah snatched four to give Pakistan a good chance to take the lead in the series.
After South Africa resumed at 187-4 at the start of the day, left-arm spinner Nauman took 5-35 while Yasir finished with 4-79. Temba Bavuma was the last man to be out at 40.
Yasir and Nauman took three wickets in the space of ten runs on Thursday to avoid the battle in South Africa on the third day of the first Karachi test.
When it appeared like after wiping out Pakistan’s big 158-run first-innings advantage, South Africa will finish the day at parity, Yasir struck twice and Nauman once to leave the tourists close on 187-4.
Pakistan had earlier scored 378 to take a vital lead over the total of 220 in South Africa’s first innings.
The two-match test series is South Africa’s first for 14 years in Pakistan. The second test will commence in Rawalpindi on the 4th of February.
In Pakistan, the hosts have won just one of their previous seven tests against South Africa, with the visitors recording two wins to go with four draws.