Fawad Alam helps Pakistan beat the Proteas

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Image courtesy Twitter account of Fawad Alam
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Pakistan beat South Africa by seven wickets on fourth day of first Test Match at National Stadium, Karachi on Friday.

This is only Pakistan’s fifth win in Test cricket over South Africa.

This has eased the pressure on head coach Misbah-ul-Haq and helped Pakistan take a 1-0 lead in the two-match series.

Pakistan’s unlikely bowling hero was Nauman Ali with 5 wickets for 35. Ali became the the 12th Pakistani bowler to take a fiver on his debut and also, the first Pakistan left-arm spinner to take a five-for in his first Test.

Yasir Shah lent him admirable support with 4 wickets for 79 runs.

South Africa looked like making a fight of it at 175 for 1 on day 3 but collapsed like a pack of cards, caving in for 245.

They got off to a very poor start on day four as Hasan Ali dismissed Maharaj. 

Quinton de Kock was then joined by Temba Bavuma but their partnership also did not last long as Yasir Shah got hold of the former.

George Linde then stepped out in the middle and took the team over the 200-run mark, along with Bavuma.

But Nauman managed to end the partnership, dismissing Linde for just 11.

Bavuma was impressive in his doggedness and managed 40 runs off 93 balls on a deteriorating pitch.

Bavuma was the last to fall, LBW off Nauman’s delivery which brought South Africa’s second innings to an end, setting a target of 88 runs for the hosts.

Nauman added the final four South Africa wickets to his dismissal of Proteas top-scorer Aiden Markram (74).

Chasing the target of 88, Pakistan openers Imran Butt and Abid Ali avoided risky shots as the team was not chasing a huge target.

However, Anrich Nortje came out all guns blazing in the eighth over, removing both Abid (10) and Butt (12).

Azhar Ali and skipper Azam then joined hands in the middle.

Both played brilliantly, scoring regular boundaries but with the team just two runs away, Keshav Maharaj dismissed Babar (30) in the 23rd over. 

Fawad Alam then came out and hit a boundary to take Pakistan over the line.

Earlier, in the first innings, it was yet again, Fawad Alam who played a brilliant knock of 109 that helped Pakistan to a formidable first innings total.

Pakistan 378 (Fawad 109, Ashraf 64, Rabada 3-70, Maharaj 3-90) and 90 for 3 (Azhar 31*, Nortje 2-24) beat South Africa 220 (Elgar 58, Yasir 3-54) and 245 (Markram 74, van der Dussen 64, Nauman 5-35, Yasir 4-79) by seven wickets