Kagiso Rabada and Keshav Maharaj stunned Pakistan’s top order to give South Africa a good return here on the opening day of the first Test cricket match. The team of South Africa were able to score 220 runs in their first innings but Pakistan also struggled to score 33 runs for four wickets till the end of the first day’s play. Pakistan are currently 187 runs behind South Africa. Rabada (two for eight) caught his first Test match playing Imran Butt (nine) after bowling Abid Ali (four) in the lane.
South Africa, playing Test matches after 13 years in Pakistan, decided to bat first by winning the toss and adding two spinners to the team, given the possibility of helping the spinners with wickets. South Africa scored 94 for two in the first session, but Pakistan spinners came to dominate after that. Leg-spinner Yasir Shah took three for 54 and left-arm spinner Nauman Ali, playing his first Test match, took two wickets for 38 runs. Fast bowler Shaheen Afridi also took two wickets.
Opener Dean Elgar scored the highest for South Africa at 58, while lower-order George Linde contributed 35 and Rabada contributed an unbeaten 21. Aiden Markram (13) gave South Africa a reliable start. He hit three fours in one over from fast bowler Hasan Ali but he could not last long. Left-arm fast bowler Shaheen Afridi gave Markaram a first slip and gave Pakistan the first success. Rossi von der Dusen (17) was playing the balls of left-arm spinner Nauman with full confidence but he was run out due to a misunderstanding with Elgar.
South Africa added 85 runs in the second session and meanwhile lost the wickets of Dean Elgar (58), Faf Duplessis (23), Captain Quinton Dickock (15) and Temba Bavuma (17). Yasir forced Duplessis to take a catch behind the wicket on a flight-taking ball. Dickock, playing an irresponsible shot, gave Nauman his wicket in reward. Playing his first Test match, Nauman ended Elgar’s half-century innings in which he faced 106 balls and hit nine fours. He gave an easy catch to Babar Azam at slip. Bavuma lost his wicket in an attempt to take another run.
Yasir did not allow Keshav Maharaj and Nortje to open the account while Hasan Ali ended Linde’s innings which included five fours. Rabada and Lungi Angidi (eight) took the team beyond 200 runs. Playing their first Test match since 2007 in Pakistan, South Africa have retained two left-arm spinners Keshav Maharaj and George Linde in the playing XI. Fast bowler Rabada has also returned to the team.