Pakistan v South Africa: Debutant Nauman Ali takes 5-35 as hosts win first Test

Nauman Ali celebrates
Nauman is the 11th man over the age of 34 to make his Test debut in the 21st Century
First Test, Karachi (day four of five)
Pakistan 378 (Fawad 109) & 90-3 (Azhar 31*)
South Africa 220 (Yasir 3-54) & 245 (Markram 74; Nauman 5-35, Yasir 4-79)
Pakistan won by seven wickets

Debutant Nauman Ali took 5-35 as Pakistan wrapped up a seven-wicket win over South Africa with a day to spare in the first Test in Karachi.

Resuming on 187-4, South Africa were bowled out for 245 thanks to slow left-armer Nauman and leg-spinner Yasir Shah, who finished with 4-79.

Azhar Ali hit an unbeaten 31 as the hosts easily reached a target of 88 before tea.

The final Test in Rawalpindi starts on Thursday, followed by three Twenty20s.

The series marks South Africa’s first trip to Pakistan in 14 years, after a deadly 2009 attack on Sri Lanka’s team halted visits by foreign sides.

Dream debut for 34-year-old Nauman

The tone for the day was set when nightwatchman Keshav Mahraj was bowled by Hasan Ali with the first ball of the morning.

Quinton de Kock soon followed, the captain managing only two before being caught by Abid Ali at short leg off Yasir.

Temba Bavuma offered some resistance with a gritty 40 off 93 balls, which included a 42-run stand for the seventh wicket with George Linde.

Having lost three wickets for 10 runs on day three, South Africa suffered their second mini-collapse of the innings as 34-year-old Nauman cleaned up the lower order.

Linde was caught smartly by Imran Butt at leg slip for 16, Kagiso Rabada was bowled through the gate and Anrich Nortje sliced to backward point.

Bavuma was trapped lbw as Nauman completed his five-wicket haul to finish with match figures of 7-73.

Pace bowler Anrich Nortje gave South Africa hope by removing Abid Ali and Imran Butt in the first over after lunch to reduce Pakistan to 23-2 in their chase.

However, Babar Azam – in his first Test as captain – and predecessor Azhar Ali played with patience and fluency in a 63-run stand that settled any nerves.

Although Babar was trapped lbw by Keshav Maharaj with two runs required, Fawad Alam – who scored a century in the first innings – sealed victory with a cut for four.

‘A combination of everything helped us win’ – reaction

Pakistan captain Babar Azam: “Fawad’s outstanding performance was good. After that Nauman and Yasir were outstanding. The fast bowlers contributed too, and it’s a combination of everything that helped us win.

“South Africa are a quality team, and we planned for the slower track and the combination with Nauman as debutant. Debutants have pressure but he showed his experience. When partnerships were forming, him and Yasir broke them.”

South Africa captain Quinton de Kock: “Our first innings – that was a big reason for our loss. I don’t think we took too long to adjust. We practised enough here but we were a bit soft.

“We learned about these kind of surfaces. Our bowlers bowled well, with great aggression and accuracy. It’s just that Pakistan team batted really well against us.”

Player of the match Fawad Alam: “It was an important hundred at that stage because the team needed it. We were 36-4, so we needed to bat long in first innings so that the second innings is easy.

“The pressure is always there in international cricket, especially when playing as a comeback player. But I’m enjoying the time in the dressing room.”

Pakistan batsman Fawad Alad
Fawad, who returned to Pakistan’s squad in 2019 after more than a decade-long absence, scored 109 in the first innings

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