South Africa won the toss and chose to bat first. They fired off slow. Especially on a fast turning pitch in Karachi, Pakistan.
Aiden Markram did not translate the form he set alight at home. Where he was puzzled by the good area off Shaheen Afridi. As it knicked straight to Imran Butt at slip on 13. Before Rassie Van Der Dussen got it wrong with the quick single. When Pakistan have a few fielders around mid-off in front of him. That did not work in the end via run out off Babar Azam (17).
But South Africa have settled alright going into lunch. With the experienced opener Dean Elgar playing it safe on 46. While Faf Du Plessis came in at 4 & so far he is on 14. The away team are 94-2 as Pakistan won the first session alone.
Elgar continued to bat the way he wants to be in the middle. With another half-ton inserted to his name. While the Pakistan spinners continued to take advantage of the leftover Top 6. When Faf Du Plessis & Quinton De Kock unable to push on past the 30s mark. Before Elgar became victim alongside the duo on 58. As 34 year old debutant Nauman Ali took two scalps.
Ali already justified the poor promotion of skipper De Kock at five. As well as ended the dangerman in Elgar who kept piling the runs. And Pakistan wrapped up another decent session ahead of the tea break. When Temba Bavuma did not find the rope. And got run out by Hasan Ali from fine leg. South Africa are 179-6.
Dean Elgar may not be the only skipper to hold on tight. The returning George Linde also followed what Elgar did. Having guided South Africa just past the 200 run mark. The century might not gone his way today. But did a great job on 35. Before another 20 odd runs added from Kagiso Rabada. With South Africa all out for 220.
Pakistan got their turn now with the bat with 10-15 overs left of Day 1. The bowling looked decent with most of the scalps come from spin. But they fired off to an even poor start. When the returning Kagiso Rabada made two quick wickets on both openers. That would be 25 year old debutant Imran Butt and Abid Ali.
Then Keshav Maharaj added one scalp off his left arm spin on Babar Azam. And Anrich Nortje summed up the comeback for South Africa. As he clean bowled the nightwatch man in Shaheen Afridi towards the end of Day 1. Pakistan 33-4 & trails by 187 runs going into Day 2 of the 1st Test.
It seems that the spin and fast turning tracks suit Pakistan with the ball. When they are able to target the stumps. As well as look at where the opposition are not good with the shot selection. And convince the South Africans to make up half chances. Especially with five wickets coming from spin, 3 from seam & 2 off run outs. But needs more work from the batting tomorrow. When they were scared off Rabada & Nortje with the speed. And unable to keep technique/footwork simple.
South Africa on the other hand did not have the best with the bat. While Dean Elgar & George Linde hang on well. The rest however hesitated with the failed half chances. Without the footwork & full bat face. As well as gambling quick singles which limit to 220. But so far responded beautifully in return. Especially with Kagiso Rabada back from injury. And he scared off both openers with the pace/targeting stumps that gave hope. They hope more of the same thing on Day 2.