A thrilling day at the National Stadium in Karachi came to an end after Pakistan and South Africa locked horns in the first Test of the two-match series.
The visitors opted to bat first, but the decision went horribly wrong as Pakistan bowling attack skittled out South Africa inside the first hour of the final session. The Proteas only managed to post 220 on the board, thanks to a half-century from Dean Elgar (58).
The left-handed opener outdid himself through a poor shot selection. He tried to drive Nauman Ali away from his body but ended up giving a straightforward catch in the first slip.
An hour-long partnership between George Linde (35) and Temba Bavuma (17) gave some hope to the tourists. However, minutes before tea, Bavuma found himself calling for a suicidal extra run, and got out.
In the later period, a crucial 25-run partnership between Lungi Ngidi (8) and Kagiso Rabada (21) helped the Quinton de Kock-led side to go past 200.
Yasir Shah picked up three wickets for 54 in 22 overs for the home side while Shaheen Afridi and Nauman bagged two scalps each. Hasan Ali also earned one wicket.
In reply, Pakistan were expected to bat well as their bowlers had put them in a commanding position. But that didn’t happen, the Babar Azam and Co. lost four wickets in just 18 overs before the umpires declared stumps.
Pacer Kagiso Rabada provided the initial breakthroughs by dismissing both the openers, Abid Ali (4) and Imran Butt (9) inside seven overs.
As if this want enough, Keshav Maharaj got the big fish when he removed Azam in the 16th over. Speedster Anrich Nortje joined the party in the very next over by cleaning up night-watchman Afridi and reducing Pakistan to 27/4.
At the end of days play, Pakistan have reached 33/4 with Azhar Ali (5 no) and Fawad Alam (4 no) at the crease.
Here is how Twitter reacted:
Pitch looked a good one to bat on when SA started out. Having got to 133/3, they’d have expected to get more than 220.
33/4 at stumps is some response though.
Looking forward to tomorrow.#PAKvsSA #220looksmilesaway
— Mpumelelo Mbangwa (@mmbangwa) January 26, 2021
Test wicket no.198 for Kagiso Rabada 🙌
— ICC (@ICC) January 26, 2021
Pakistan in big big trouble, Maharaj gets the Big Fish Babar Azam, leading the team for the first time in Tests and gets out for 7. Pakistan 26 for 3, trailing by 194 runs in the first innings. #PAKvSA
— Johns. (@CricCrazyJohns) January 26, 2021
Credit goes to new Chief Spector Wasim khan who select NAUMAN .One debit bowled and the other debuter Imran Butt caught the catch of Quinton de cock…. Both debut players are covered
— Muhammad Noman (@Nomancricket29) January 26, 2021
Kagiso Rabada is 25 years old and needs 1 wicket for 200 Test wickets. 😱🔥 What a bowler!! #PAKvSA
— EEMS (@NaeemahBenjamin) January 26, 2021
— Mazher Arshad (@MazherArshad) January 26, 2021
— Hammad Ali (@_hahahammad) January 26, 2021
So I wake up and Pakistan are 4 down? What is going on #PakvSA
— Ammar (@ammarsyed00) January 26, 2021
— Pakistan Cricket (@TheRealPCB) January 26, 2021
🛑 DAY 1 | CLOSE OF PLAY
Rabada grabbed 2 early wickets, while Maharaj and Nortje took 1 each as we end the day on a positive note
🇵🇰 Pakistan 33/4 after 18 overs
— Cricket South Africa (@OfficialCSA) January 26, 2021
Pakistan in deep trouble against South Africa. They've lost now their captain Babar Azam for 7, Keshav Maharaj picks him up.
— Mufaddal Vohra (@mufaddal_vohra) January 26, 2021
Babar Azam is supreme against spin and has an average of 61.07 against them.
Left-arm orthodox is his weakest of the three main spin bowling disciplines however
Off-spin avg: 61.67
LA Orthodox: 48.20#PAKvSA
— The CricViz Analyst (@cricvizanalyst) January 26, 2021
— Subhayan Chakraborty (@CricSubhayan) January 26, 2021
Really impressive bowling
Pacers have bowled with gas and intensity and it was great to watch
Keshav maharaj with his wit bringing about downfall of great Batsman Babar
— PREETHIK SHETTY 🏏 (@ShettyPreethik) January 26, 2021