KARACHI (Dunya News) – Pakistan dismissed South Africa on 220 runs on day one of the first Test, a match being described as a “monumental moment” for the revival of international cricket in the country, at the National Stadium Karachi (NSK).
Opener Dean Elgar top scored for the visitors with 58 runs followed by George Linde (35). Aiden Markaram (13) was the first batsman to lose his wicket this morning – caught brilliantly at slip by Imran Butt off Shaheen Afridi.
Rassie van der Dussen was run out on 17 by Babar Azam/Mohammad Rizwan. Yasir Shah dismissed Faf fu Plessis (23) before Nauman Ali removed South Africa captain Quinton de kock (15) and Dean Elgar. Temba Bavuma (17) was run out by Hasan Ali/Mohammad Rizwan.
Keshav Maharaj was bowled by Yasir Shah. Hassan Ali – who is making a comeback in the Pakistan squad – dismissed George Linde. Anrich Nortje was removed by Shah while Shaheen Afridi picked up the last wicket of Lungi Ngidi (8).
Earlier, South Africa won the toss and elected to bat first. 25-year-old opener Imran Butt and 34-year-old left-arm spinner Nauman Ali are making their debuts for Pakistan. South Africa have opted for two specialist spinners Keshav Maharaj and George Linde.
South Africa: Aiden Markram, Dean Elgar, Faf du Plessis, Rassie van der Dussen, Temba Bavuma, Quinton de Kock (capt, wk), George Linde, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Lungi Ngidi
Pakistan: Abid Ali, Imran Butt (debut), Azhar Ali, Babar Azam (capt), Fawad Alam, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Faheem Ashraf, Hassan Ali, Nouman Ali (debut), Yasir Shah, Shaheen Afridi
South Africa are playing their first Test in Pakistan after 14 years. The match in the port city of Karachi marks a significant vote of confidence for Pakistan where international cricket was suspended following as attack on the Sri Lanka team’s bus in Lahore in 2009.
Babar Azam is making his Test captaincy debut against a tough South Africa team. Azam has recovered from a thumb injury that kept him out of the two-Test series in New Zealand, which Pakistan lost 2-0.
“I missed the series against New Zealand, but it’s a proud moment for me that I am doing my captaincy debut in my own country,” Azam said on Monday.
“South Africa is a good team. You can’t take them lightly, but conditions suit us more because most of us have played here,” he added.
The second Test will be played in Rawalpindi from Feb. 4, followed by the three-match T20I series in Lahore from Feb. 11-14.
Pakistan is out of the race to qualify for the World Test Championship final at Lord’s in June while South Africa has only a mathematical chance to make it with India, New Zealand, Australia and England among the top contenders.
Azam was well aware of Pakistan’s poor Test record against South Africa, winning only four of 26. One of Pakistan’s 15 losses came at the National Stadium — the venue for the first Test — when South Africa toured in 2007. “We should not think about past, we should focus on what’s ahead of us,” Azam said.
“It’s a fact that we don’t have a good record against them, but we have prepared well and we hope to give our best against them this time.”
“I’m sure this Pakistan team is going to be tough,” South Africa captain Quinton de Kock said when the team arrived.
“I think our biggest challenge is the conditions that we could face and not knowing the things that we have to deal with.”
With inputs from AFP