Cricket: Pakistan sail past South Africa in 1st Test

A rejuvenated Pakistan beat South Africa by seven wickets in the first Test match in Karachi on Friday, taking a 1-0 lead in the two-match series.

The Proteas, who are visiting Pakistan after a gap of 14 years, were bundled out in the opening session of the fourth day, losing six wickets as they added just 58 to their overnight score to end their second innings at 245.

Debutant Nauman Ali and experienced leg spinner Yasir Shah were the pick of the Pakistani bowlers, finishing the innings with five and four wickets, respectively.

Both spinners ended the match with seven scalps each.

That left Pakistan with a scanty target of 88 runs to chase down on a testing wicket at the National Stadium.

Apart from a little wobble after lunch when they lost both openers in an over, the hosts breezed to victory in just under 23 overs.

Fittingly, it was Fawad Alam, whose remarkable century in the first innings earned him the man of the match award, brought up the win with a boundary off South African spinner Keshav Maharaj.

The victory gave Babar Azam, who was forced to sit out the recent New Zealand series due to a fractured thumb, a winning start as Test captain.

The teams will now head to the garrison city of Rawalpindi for the second and final Test starting on Feb. 4.

That will be followed by three T20 games in the northeastern city of Lahore on Feb. 11, 13, and 14.

International cricket has gradually returned to Pakistan since 2015, following years of suspension after a 2009 terrorist attack on a touring Sri Lankan side in Lahore.

South Africa are now the fourth country to tour Pakistan in the past 15 months, after Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Zimbabwe.

- Full match score

1st innings:

South Africa 220 (Dean Elgar 58, George Linde 35, Yasir Shah 3-54, Nauman Ali 2-38)

Pakistan 378 (Fawad Alam 109, Faheem Ashraf 64, Kagiso Rabada 3-70, Keshav Maharaj 3-90)

2nd innings:

South Africa 245 (Aiden Markram 74, Rassie van der Dussen 64, Nauman Ali 5-35, Yasir Shah 4-79)

Pakistan 90 for 3 (Azhar Ali 31*, Babar Azam 30, Anrich Nortje 2-24, Keshav Maharaj 1-12)

Source: Anadolu Agency