Test Cricket News Report: Day 4 of the 1st Test, 2020-21 Pakistan v South Africa Series Tour

South Africa came back on 187-4 alongside a 29 run lead. Where Keshav Maharaj unable to continue as the nightwatchman. After he was bowled for 2. Thanks to Pakistan seamer Hasan Ali.

While Quinton De Kock’s slump with the bat continues. When he was caught behind by Mohammed Rizwan on 4. As Yasir Shah sealed his 4th wicket. Temba Bavuma came in and batted as simple as possible. In an desperate effort to try and save South Africa’s innings on 40 runs.

But that did not happen unfortunately without his help. With debutant spinner Nauman Ali got rid of George Linde & the tail enders. Before he eventually got out Bavuma to wrap up the South Africa 2nd innings. And secure a five-wicket haul off his left arm spin. Even as a Test debutant aged 35. The away side all out for 245 as Pakistan only needs just 88 runs to win.

Both Pakistan openers fired off without any trouble going into lunch. A hour long break this time followed by a shorter 2nd session. Thanks to a 10 minute innings changeover beforehand. Imran Butt remains on 12 & Abid Ali on 10. The home team are on 22-0 & needs just 66 to win.

The home side may have been in a bit of trouble immediately after the break. When Anrich Nortje quickly wrapped up both Openers. Followed by Keshav Maharaj who LBWed Babar Azam (30). In which gave a bit of hope for South Africa. But it was not enough in the end. As Pakistan landed home safely on 90-3 off a good run from Babar & Azhar Ali (31). They win by 7 wickets & leads the two-game series 1-0.

Unfortunately there was a lot to be desired from South Africa. With Quinton De Kock still out of form. Despite holding the captaincy. While Temba Bavuma also received backlash about giving the tail enders the strike. Rather than him constantly face the bowlers to try and extend the run lead. But did a good job holding on South Africa’s 2nd innings.

The bowlers such as Anrich Nortje & Keshav Maharaj gave a little hope. But the damage was done beforehand. Where there was plenty of hesitant shot selections without patience. Such as half chances without the footwork & whole bat face. Regardless if some have already scored a half-ton or not. Clearly shows they did not prepare on these spin tracks.

Especially in the sub continent such as Pakistan. Not only some of Top 6 batsman failed to deliver. They are not giving the bowlers support. Such as dropped chances to show some fightback. South Africa needs some changes between now & the next Test. If they are to level the series 1-1 & defend the series title. Having last won there at home back in 2018-19.

Pakistan are celebrating right now with the win on their hands. There is no doubt in the spin department. When not only Yasir Shah led the line. He was also blessed to have his backup who showed lots of quality. Even as a debutant aged 35 years in Nauman Ali. They made the batsman play these false shots. With the right areas targeted. Where the ball gets to turn a lot. And able to trick the opposition without realising where it went.

These kind of tactics helped Pakistan limit South Africa to 220 in the 1st spell. And again in the 2nd innings to help set up an easy target of 88. Where Nauman got his 5fer there. In which they were able to nail down. The only weakness Pakistan experienced was both openers. After they were fuzzed by the South African quicks of Kagiso Rabada & Nortje. But the rest played well to build the stand they need.

Such as Azhar Ali with his 50 & 31 not out at first drop. As well as Fawad Alam who has orthodox stance like Shivnarine Chanderpaul. Played his best strengths with the eye coordination. Before allowing the placement & full bat face. And play around his strike weaponry where he secured his 100. Faheem Ashraf an all-round fast bowler with 64 runs from the tail end. And Yasir not only bowled a 4fer in the 2nd spell. He would also not mind scoring for fun. Even batting last. Now it is up to Pakistan to wrap up the series 2-0.

Test Cricket Match Report: Day 3 of the 1st Game: 2021 Pakistan v South Africa Series

Pakistan resume after Day 2 on 308-8 alongside an 88 run lead. The tail enders such as Hasan Ali remains on 11. As well as debutant spinner Nauman Ali on 6.

It did not take so long from Kagiso Rabada to secure his 200th Test scalp. When he clean bowled Hasan Ali on 21. South Africa however endured a frustrating extended run. Despite the Rabada milestone. Thanks to Yasir Shah who would not mind taking a stab v the South Africans. Might not be a quick 50. But he extended the run lead to 158 for Pakistan.

The opening session still goes on. But a change of field via the 10 min innings break by both teams. With Pakistan all out for 378. Before South Africa gets to bat again. Both openers Dean Elgar & Aiden Markram kept the bowlers quiet. Where there was not much progress from Pakistan ahead of lunch. South Africa 37-0. But still needs to trail by 121 runs.

Things did go downhill straight after the break from South Africa. When Dean Elgar got hit in the hand off the pace from Shaheen Afridi. It may have took a while & batted on. But he was quickly caught behind by Mo Rizwan off Yasir Shah on 29. South Africa may have gone defensively before tea. But at least helped Markram & new man Rassie Van Der Dussen their wickets. They are 87-1 in a mostly quiet 2nd session. But trails by 74.

Markram and Van Der Dussen held on batting within the next hour. With a simple strike selection and calm approach. In which helped secured both of their respective 50s. But Yasir finally found a way to break this stand. When Van Der Dussen was caught at short leg by Abid Ali on 64. Before Faf Du Plessis unable to escape Yasir with the LBW on 10 runs.

And Nauman Ali helped Yasir dominate spin for Pakistan on Day 3. When Aiden Markram unable to convert his 100. After he was trapped at the same place by Abid Ali like Rassie on 74. South Africa will resume Day 4 on 187-4 & a lead of 29 runs. With Skipper Quinton De Kock on 0 & night watchman Keshav Maharaj on 2.

South Africa may been blessed with the big milestone from Rabada. But did not do much to nail down Yasir Shah early with the bat. In which it hurts the run trail to close down more. Not even the hand strain helped Elgar after he got hit from Shaheen Afridi. But It is great to see Markram & Van Der Dussen build a stand at their best. But not enough to hold on for longer. When they basically hesitate with the half chance. Rather than just defend on a full bat face. That 29 run lead still needs lot of work on Day 4. Before it is too late to save themselves in this test match.

Pakistan on the other hand are actually leading. When it comes to the extra runs added & wickets taken on Day 3. Yasir did an all-round sterling job. Even he batted last & did not care taking on the South Africans. Before he lead the Pakistan spin train with three wickets on hand. A great eye on building placement & shot selection. As well as tricking spinners when targeting the stumps. So does Nauman Ali who backed Yasir up in both ways. Despite scoring 24 & got out Markram. Now it is up to Pakistan to limit the small run lead from South Africa. And take it all in towards the road to victory.

Test Cricket Match Report, Day 2 of the 1st Test: Pakistan v South Africa

Image Reference: Pakistan Cricket Board

Pakistan resume at 33-4 after Day 1 with Azhar Ali & Fawad Alam both on 5. And have a job to shave off the 178 run trail mark. Before looking to build a big total. While South Africa came off a decent late session yesterday. With 4 early wickets.

Image Reference: Pakistan Cricket Board

The opening session went to Pakistan who batted quietly. Azhar & Fawad settled in with runs on the board. Both against seam and spin. And able to use their best stance to trigger their movements. So they are asking what Pakistan demanded in return. As both men are nearly on the 40s run mark by lunch. With South Africa unable to find a wicket in this session.

Image Reference: Pakistan Cricket Board

Pakistan came back after the break on 104-4. Where they still need to close down the 116 run trail ASAP. Both Azhar & Fawad stayed a little longer this time. As Azhar just scored his half-ton. But got caught behind by Quinton De Kock. In which gave relief at last from spinner George Linde for South Africa. Before Lungi Ngidi added another wicket off Mohammed Rizwan. But SA unable to stop Fawad though ahead of tea break.

Image Reference: Pakistan Cricket Board

Fawad remains on 63 not out while Faheem Ashraf just came in. Pakistan are 178-6 & avoided follow on. But they trail by just 42 runs. And he kept his wicket all day right until that big moment. When Fawad converted his 100. Before he wrapped up a hard earned day on 109.

His illustrious innings opens to another in Faheem Ashraf. He came in at 8, used the bowlers tiredness & scored a quickfire half-ton. But Faheem he was clean by Anrich Nortje on 64. Pakistan however enjoyed an day entire day of batting in Karachi. They wrap up Day 2 on 308-8 with a lead of 88 runs. While South Africa scored 4 wickets in the final 2 sessions.

South Africa did not make the best use of their time on Day 2. Where they threw the balls that the batsman can execute. As well as bad fielding placement. And missed chances that turned into more leaked runs. They will bat again somewhere on Day 3. But need to limit to 90-100. And look towards 250-300 in return. So they have a shot of winning.

Pakistan on the other hand are leading for now. They are able to use the whole day’s session to settle down. And stack a few 100 run partnerships. Azhar Ali is a key member in this side at first drop. While Fawad Alam who scored his 3rd Test 100 of 8 caps at age 35. Got his own orthodox stance like Shivnarine Chanderpaul. And used both footwork placement and full bat face to justify his big total. And Faheem Ashraf has all-round class both bat & ball.

The 88 run lead may not be enough for Pakistan right now. But have bowled well on Day 1 v South Africa to limit 220. As the Pakistan tail enders would like to extend the run lead as they can. Before looking to find their way & go 1-0 up. Day 3 is looming towards another decent battle.

2020-21 Pakistan v South Africa Test Cricket Series, Day 1 of 1st Game Report

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).

Image Reference: Pakistan Cricket Board Media

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.

Image Reference: Pakistan Cricket Board Media

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.

Image Reference: Pakistan Cricket Board Media

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.

Image Reference: Pakistan Cricket Board Media

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.