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Pakistan reduced to 33/4 after South Africa post 220 on Day 2 at Karachi

Pakistan leg-spinner Yasir Shah
Pakistan leg-spinner Yasir Shah claimed three wickets on the opening day of the first Test

Pakistan were reduced to 33/4 at stumps on the first day of the opening Test of the two-match cricket series being played at the National Stadium in Karachi by the South African fast bowlers, after the visiting side was bundled out for a mere 220 in the first innings.  

This is the first time since 2007 that Pakistan are hosting South Africa for a Test series at a venue where they have had an incredible record in Test cricket. Pakistan had not lost a Test at the National Stadium in Karachi from between 1955-2000. 

Pakistan bowlers Shaheen Shah Afridi (2/49), debutant Nouman Ali (2/38) and leg-spinner Yasir Shah (3/54) did well after South Africa elected to bat first. The visiting side was bowled out for 220 in 69.2 overs with Dean Elgar top scoring with 58 from 106 balls with the help of nine fours. 

A plenty of South African batsmen got starts but were not able to convert—opener in Aiden Markram was dismissed for 13, Rassie van der Dussen was dismissed for 17, former captain Faf du Plessis could make only 23 whereas wicketkeeper-captain Quinton de Kock made 15. Batting as low as at No 6th position, right hand batsman Temba Bavuma battled hard facing 67 balls but he could manage only 17 runs. 

South Africa were served well by George Linde and Kagiso Rabada, ko chipped in with 35 and 21 respectively as the batsmen were guilty of not playing the strokes judiciously on day one wicket which favoured bowlers with some variable bounce.

Rabada made most of the variable bounce at the Karachi wicket, cleaning up Abid Ali for 5 and getting debutant Imran Butt caught for 9. But the biggest wicket for the South African bowlers came in the form of Pakistan captain Babar Azam, who was trapped leg before by spinner Keshav Maharaj towards the end of the day’s play for 7. Pakistan tried to weather the storm by sending in a night watchman—Shaheen Shah Afridi—but he was cleaned up by Anrich Nortje for a duck.

Former Pakistan captain Azhar Ali and Fawad Alam—batting on 5 each—were the crease when stumps were drawn on what turned out to be an exhilarating day of Test cricket.