Captain Babar Azam praised rotary bowlers Nauman Ali and Yasir Shah who shared 14 wickets among them for leading Pakistan to an emphatic victory against South Africa in the first Test in Karachi on Friday. Nauman, the 34-year-old who played his first Test, took 5-35, while Yasir took 4-35 to destroy Quinton de Kock’s side hopes and secure a seven-wicket win.
The South Africans, who visited Pakistan for the first time in 14 years, dropped to 245 all in their second innings on the fourth day.
Pakistan reached the meager goal of 88 points in 22.5 overs for losing three wickets to take a 1-0 lead in the series of two matches.
34-year-old left arm spinner Nauman finished with grades 7-73, while leg spinner Yasir had 7-133.
Azam, who led Pakistan in a Test for the first time, said his spinners were excellent.
“It (the win) was a combination of everything that helped us. South Africa is a quality team, and we planned the slower track and the combination with Nauman, who showed no pressure, and Yasir broke them.”
Pakistan took a crucial 158-run lead by scoring 378 in response to the total of 220 all-out in South Africa’s first innings.
Fawad Alam beat his third hundred with 109, while Faheem Ashraf (64) and Azhar Ali (51) were valuable contributors after Pakistan dropped to 33-4 on day one.
“I had said before that partnerships will be key and Fawad and Azhar have lifted us from 33-4, they showed their experience,” said Azam of the fourth wicket stand of 94.
“It gave us a boost. Fawad’s outstanding performance … anchored our innings.”
De Kock admitted that the Pakistani batsmen spin better.
“I think it wasn’t bowling, I think it was the hitters that made the difference,” said de Kock.
In contrast to Pakistan’s effective spinning performance, South African frontline spinner Keshav Maharaj took just four wickets in the match and George Linde ended the match empty-handed.
“The way Pakistani batsmen played spin and the way we competed against spin was the difference. They took the pressure, so it was more about batting and not bowling,” said de Kock, who scored a paltry 15 and just two in a pair of miserable innings on his 50th Test.
De Kock said the failure in the first innings cost his team the game.
“To be fair, we were actually ahead of the end of the first day, but 220 on this wicket wasn’t good enough.
“If you chose to hit first, you need a big score in the first innings that we couldn’t get. I know we had them 33-4 and it was a good start to our bowling, but we let ourselves go. sacks in the first innings. “
The second test starts on February 4 in Rawalpindi.
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