Left-arm spinner Nauman Ali came out with a brilliant performance on his debut to help Pakistan register a thumping seven-wicket win over South Africa in the first Test at the National Stadium in Karachi on Friday. Nauman bagged a five-for while Yasir Shah also chipped in with four wickets in South Africa’s second essay as Pakistan bundled out the visiting team for just 245 on Day Four. Chasing a small target of 88 for win, Pakistan lost openers Imran Butt, Abid Ali and captain Babar Azam but eventually sealed the win to take a 1-0 lead in the two-match series.
The hosts lost Imran – 12 – and Abid – 10 – cheaply but former captain Azhar Ali and Babar ensured that there will no further hiccups as they stitched together a 63-run stand for the third wicket. With only two runs required for victory, Keshav Maharaj won an LBW appeal against Babar, with the Pakistan skipper unsuccessfully reviewing it. Eventually, ‘Player of the Match’ Fawad Alam closed the game with a boundary off Maharaj to end the drama in Karachi.
It is also Pakistan’s only fifth victory over South Africa in Test cricket. However, it looked a very distant prospect when the tourists sat pretty at 175 for 1 on Thursday evening, but a spectacular collapse supercharged by a five-wicket haul for debutant Nauman saw the game ripped from their grasp.
Earlier, resuming the day at 187/4, South Africa could add just 58 runs before their innings ended before Lunch. Aiden Markram and Rassie van der Dussen were the top-scorers for the hosts with 74 and 64 respectively. However, none of the other South Africa batsmen could stand long at the crease.
In the first innings, the visitors were bundled out for 220 before Pakistan replied with 378, gaining a healthy 158-run lead. Left-handed batsman Fawad had scored a brilliant 109 while Faheem Ashraf and Babar also made useful contributions of 64 and 51 respectively.
Nauman finished with a match-haul of 7/73 while Yasir bagged a total of seven wickets conceding 133 runs during the course of the match.
The two teams will next face each other in the second and final Test beginning February 4 in Rawalpindi.
Brief scores: South Africa 220 and 245 (Aiden Markram 74, Rassie van der Dussen 64; Nauman Ali 5/35) vs Pakistan 378 and 90/3 (Azhar Ali 31 not out, Babar Azam 30; Anrich Nortje 2/45)