South Africa’s pace ace – Kagiso Rabada took two wickets for just eight runs as he led a perfect fightback for the visitors on the opening day of the first Test against Pakistan at the National Stadium, Karachi on Tuesday. At the close of play, the hosts were in trouble at 33 for four, having bowled out South Africa for 220 — their second-lowest total in the country. Fourteen wickets fell on the brownish National Stadium pitch, which had been expected to take a spin from day one. South Africa were well placed at 108/2 soon after lunch, but lost their last eight wickets for just 112 runs — barely managing to overhaul their lowest total in Pakistan, the 214 made at Faisalabad in 1997.

Earlier, Pakistan spinner Yasir Shah took three wickets while fellow spinner Nauman Ali and fast bowler Shaheen Afridi took two wickets each to bundle out the Proteas. Pacer Hasan Ali, who is making a comeback into the Pakistan Test squad after January 2019, chipped in with the wicket of George Linde – 35, who was South Africa’s second-highest run-scorer after opener Dean Elgar – 58.

First Session –

Opting to bat first after winning the toss, South Africa lost the wicket of opener Aiden Markram and top-order batsman Rassie van der Dussen inside the first hour of play. Pakistan pacer Shaheen Afridi produced an edge of Markram for 13, while van der Dussen was run-out for 17 after setting off for a quick single, only to see his partner had not reciprocated. Despite losing two wickets, South Africa went into lunch on the happier side and looked comfortable against hosts’ bowlers. South Africa – 94/2 vs Pakistan

Second Session

The second session of day 1 belong to Pakistan as South Africa suffered a middle-order collapse. Proteas experienced opener Dean Elgar looked in good nick, and was quite comfortable facing the spinners. However, the wicket of Faf du Plessis, who failed to capitalise on the early reprieve, opened the floodgates. Yasir Shah picked up his wicket. Meanwhile, captain Quinton de Kock started off aggressively but his risky approach cost his team dearly. Debutant Nauman Ali snared de Kock straight to mid-wicket for 15. When Elgar, easily the South African batsman most comfortable against spinners, became Nauman’s second wicket, the visitors were reduced to 136/5. It needed a 42-run partnership between Temba Bavuma and George Linde to stem the flow of wickets. The duo lasted 102 deliveries and ensured the momentum. However, a wicket triggered another slide. Bavuma was dismissed for a 67-ball 17 disastrously run-out attempting a second run and South Africa promptly lost four wickets for 16 runs. South Africa – 179/6 vs Pakistan

Third Session

The final session of the day was the most adventurous one as eight wikets fell in that session. Lungi Ngidi and Kagiso Rabada’s last-wicket stand of 25 helped South Africa to cross the 200-mark. Despite an insufficient total on the board, South Africa fought back admirably with the ball in the 18 overs that were remaining in the day. Kagiso Rabada’s late fiery spell helped the visiting team to achieve parity by the end of day one. He took two wickets for just eight runs. Apar from Rabada, fellow seamer Anrich Nortje and spinner Keshav Maharaj took a wicket each with the latter dismissing Pakistan captain Babar Azam for just seven. Pakistan 33/4, trail South Africa (220) by 187 runs