Fawad Alam celebrates after scoring century during the second day of the first Test at the National Stadium in Karachi on Wednesday. AP
Gulf Today Report
Fawad Alam scored his first Test century at home ground on Wednesday as Pakistan extended its lead against South Africa in the final session on the second day of the opening Test in Karachi.
Resuming at 33-4, Pakistan's recovery was led by Fawad Alam (109), Faheem Ashraf (64) and Azhar Ali (51). South Africa were all out for 220 in their first innings.
Debutant Nauman Ali was 6 not out and Hasan Ali, who was bowled by Keshav Maharaj off a no-ball late in the day, was unbeaten on 11.
The 35-year-old Fawad hit nine fours and two sixes in a patient 109 off 245 balls, compiled in just under six hours, to help his team reach 308-8 at stumps.
Fawad Alam kisses the ground after scoring a century in Karachi. AP
Since the tea break, Fawad and Faheem Ashraf (40 not out) have occupied the crease, adding 83 runs and taking Pakistan to 261 for the loss of six wickets – a 41-run lead over South Africa's first-innings total of 220.
Fawad reached the milestone, his third ton in Test cricket, with a six over long-on to left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj.
"I am feeling out of this world at the moment, it was a very good innings because the team needed it the most," Fawad said. "I think we can put South Africa under more pressure if we manage to add 20-30 more runs tomorrow because the pitch looks like quite slow and double-paced.”
Earlier, Azhar Ali and Alam led Pakistan's resistance against South Africa after the hosts began the day four down with a paltry 33 runs on the board.
Playing his first Test at home, Fawad was rock-solid as he added 94 with former skipper Azhar for the fifth wicket, leaving South Africa without a scalp in the first session.
Azhar Ali avoids the ball during the second day of the first Test match. AFP
Pakistan added 71 in the first session before spinner Keshav Maharaj broke through by dismissing Azhar for 51, caught behind by Quinton de Kock.
Azhar struck four boundaries in his 151-ball knock.
Wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan and Alam added another 55 for the sixth wicket before the former was caught at slip off paceman Lungi Ngidi.
It was a hard going for South Africa in the first session.
Kagiso Rabada, who took two wickets for just eight runs late on Tuesday, looked threatening in his six-over spell, but Azhar and Fawad batted cautiously to take Pakistan past 100.
Both batsmen survived scares, with left-arm spinner George Linde coming close to trapping Azhar leg-before on 29 — the umpire's not-out decision upheld on review.
Fawad was dropped on 35 by Dean Elgar, who failed to hold a sharp edge off-spinner Keshav Maharaj in the slips. The two-match series marks South Africa's first trip to Pakistan in 14 years, after a deadly 2009 attack on Sri Lanka's team halted visits by foreign sides.
The home team had won the toss and batted on a flat, brownish Rawalpindi Stadium pitch, which helped spinners from the outset, but Pakistan recovered from the early loss of three wickets.
South Africa were in trouble at 106-4 after the second day's play on a tricky Rawalpindi stadium pitch, trailing Pakistan's first innings total of 272 by 166 runs. Earlier, Nortje grabbed his third five-wicket haul with 5-56 to restrict Pakistan's total.
"We have selected a squad after analysing the performance in New Zealand and areas of improvement are identified." Fast bowler Hasan Ali has regained fitness from his back problem and returns two years after last playing a test match against South Africa in 2019.
South Africa were 187-4 at close on the third day of the opening Test against Pakistan in Karachi on Thursday, leading by 29 runs. Pakistan's spinners Yasir Shah and Nauman Ali grabbed three wickets in the space of ten runs to halt South Africa's
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