Hassan Ali changed Pakistan’s fortune with quick strikes as he gets 10 wickets in the match and secures Pakistan’s 1st series win over South Africa since 2003. With the 2nd new ball in hand, Hasan Ali gives a lot of damage to South Africa’s chances. It’s first Markram who edges a delivery pitched outside off to slip and strikes his pad in disgust. De Kock falls next ball, going for an expansive drive only to edge it to Imran Butt, who takes his second catch in the match.
One ball kept low, and another turned in and caught van der Dussen by surprise as Hasan Ali bowled him for 48. End of a 94 runs stand, South Africa was 127 for 1, then after two deliveries, they were 127 for 3, giving Pakistan the chance to win their 1st series over South Africa in 17 years.
“It was a very important series for me because I was making a comeback. I am happy I made a dream comeback, and my contributions helped the team win the series. Line and lengths are very important on slow pitches, and I had fitness issues in the past, but I have worked on it, and I played nine back-to-back First-Class games, which gave me the required confidence to make a comeback,” said Hassan Ali.
“I enjoyed the captaincy and got to learn a lot. When the team supports you and plays according to plan, there isn’t much pressure on the captain. Hasan Ali made an outstanding comeback, he is playing after two years, and his bowling was outstanding. Today morning Hasan Ali gave us those early wickets and got us back into the match,” Pakistani skipper Baber Azam said.
“We lost big moments in the game, and that cost us. It’s quite special to see George come through, especially after dislocating his finger, showing his heart. To come back and do what he did, it’s great to see that. It’s painful at the moment, disappointment. When we get back home, we have to look back at our performances.” said South African’s Captain Quinton de Kock.
The players of the series Muhammad Rizwan said, “Thanks to the almighty. I play according to the team plan. It was difficult in conditions like England and New Zealand, but the challenges are different, and you have to make a few slight technical adjustments. I have a lot of self-belief, and I challenge myself in pressure situations.”
Afridi got the rewards for his disciplined bowling in the off-stump channel and got the wickets of Keshav Maharaj and Kagiso Rabada later on, to go with the scalp of Dean Elgar on the fourth evening. But the day belonged to Hasan, whose five-for came when he had George Linde caught at point, and he celebrated his usual bomb-explosion celebration to a baby-cradle one in a nod to his impending fatherhood.
The entire squad did the same once victory had been completed, with Babar Azam joining Fazal Mahmood (vs. West Indies, 1959), Mushtaq Mohammad (vs. New Zealand, 1976), Javed Miandad (vs. Australia, 1980), and Saleem Malik (vs. New Zealand, 1994) in the list of Pakistan captains to win their maiden Test series at the helm.
Shaheen Shah, who had gone wicketless, did the damage with the second new ball, finished the South Africa game. The series win, Pakistan’s first against South Africa in over 17 years, means they have recorded series wins over every Test side in the last 15 years.
Babar Azam, the newly appointed captain of Pakistan, won his first Test series as a captain sets a record against South Africa. He was all praise to his young players who fought hard on a tough pitch. Pakistan won the toss and elected to bat first. Fawad Alam and Azhar Ali showed their experience and put on a 94 runs partnership to take Pakistan from 27/4 to 121 runs after Azhar Ali falls to Keshav Maharaj.
— Pakistan Cricket (@TheRealPCB) February 8, 2021
It took about three days of near-perfect cricket, Pakistan put the pressure on themselves and head coach Misbah-ul-Haq but finally crushing South Africa to a 7 wickets win to take the lead in the two-match series.
While in the 1st Test Pakistan, this series win looked distant prospect, only their 5th win in test cricket over South Africa, when the visitor sat perfectly at 175 for 1 on Thursday evening.
Hassan Ali started the proceeding by getting rid of nightwatchman Keshav Maharaj off the 1st ball of the day, which kept slightly low to breach Maharaj’s defense.
Caption Quinton de Kock, who looked unlike himself during his little stay at the crease, became yet another victim to Abid Ali at a short leg of Yasir Shah.
Alongside George Linde, he looked up another handy little partnership to go with their 42-run stand in the first innings. The sweep shot worked quickly, pushing back the close-in fielders, and it was to Bavuma’s credit that Shaheen Shah Afridi looked somewhat flat with the new ball for a change. Slowly the lead pushed past 75, and South Africa inhaled hope once more.
Fawad Alam is the Man of the Match for his century, the only one in this Test. He says, “it was an important hundred at that stage because the team needed it. We were 27/4, so we needed to bat long in the 1st innings so that the 2nd innings is easy. The pressure is always there in international cricket, especially when playing as a comeback player, there’s pressure. Pitch had some double-bounce, and there were rough patches too; it was not easy.”
As part of the PCB Award that the board had organized last month, Fawad Alam collects his award for his hundred in New Zealand for best batting performance of 2020.
Even if Pakistan has produced some legendary 4th-innings collapses in the recent past, it was never going to be enough. For that reason, when Nortje strikes back Abid’s stumps 1st ball after lunch and had Imran nick off in the same over, a ripple of stress must have run through the Pakistan dressing room. It didn’t help that variable bounce had come into the game again.