A dominant Pakistan defeated South Africa by seven wickets inside four days to win the first Test at the National Stadium, Karachi and take 1-0 lead in the two-match series. The hosts did lose three wickets in pursuit of an 88-run target, but it still was a comfortable win for them under new captain, Babar Azam.
The win was set up by debutant Nauman Ali, who completed a five-wicket haul in the second South African innings, and also Fawad Alam, who scored a brilliant 109 in Pakistan's first innings. Ali and Yasir Shah shared nine wickets to dismiss South Africa for 245 in the second innings and set up the small target.
Nauman, a 34-year-old left-arm spinner making his Test debut, returned 5/35 and Shah took 4/79 to bowl out South Africa a half-hour before Lunch. Pakistan openers had reduced the target to 66 and went to the break at 22/0. But Anrich Nortje removed both the openers for a possible collapse, but it never happened even to Keshav Maharaj got the better of Pakistan skipper again.
Pakistan were in control of the match after taking a 158-run first-innings lead, when their lower-order rallied from 27/4 to reach 378, helped by Alam's gritty ton. South Africa resumed Friday on 187/4 and things immediately got worse for the tourists when Hasan Ali bowled night-watchman Maharaj with the first delivery of the day.
Captain Quinton de Kock, who fell to a reckless shot in South Africa's first innings of 220, failed for the second time against the spinners. South Africa struggled against the spinners, adding just 58 runs for the loss of six wickets as Nauman became the oldest Pakistani spinner to take a five-wicket haul in an innings on Test debut.
The second match at Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium will start on February 4.