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Nauman, Yasir, Fawad throttle South Africa to bag convincing win
Match Report

Nauman, Yasir, Fawad throttle South Africa to bag convincing win

Debutant left-arm spinner Nauman Ali registered five wickets while Yasir Shah grabbed four to hand Pakistan a thumping seven-wicket win over South Africa in the first Test in Karachi.

Nauman and Yasir's devastating heroics bundled South Africa all out for 245 and consigned them to a paltry 87-run lead.

The rapidly deteriorating National Stadium pitch took a turn for the worst on day four as the Proteas found it extremely tough to handle the extravagant spin and variable bounce.

Needing just 88 runs for victory, Pakistan saw off a brief scare with the early dismissals of Abid Ali and Imran Butt and eventually romped to a decisive win courtesy a fine partnership between Babar Azam and Azhar Ali.

Babar, on his Test captaincy debut, was dismissed lbw by Keshav Maharaj just two runs away from the finishing line, allowing Fawad Alam to hit the winning boundary. Man of the match Fawad had initially been instrumental in helping Pakistan secure a monstrous 158-run first-innings lead as he struck a valiant century when his team was in trouble.

Recap: Pakistan vs South Africa, 1st Test, Day 4: How it unfolded

The triumph has ensured Pakistan an unassailable 1-0 lead in the two-match series with the next game set to commence in Rawalpindi on February 4.

Senior batsman Azhar Ali was 31 not out when Pakistan successfully completed the chase, hitting four boundaries during his calm hand. Azhar had made a crucial contribution alongside Fawad earlier in the game by scoring a magnificent half-century while Pakistan were in dire straits at 27/4.

The brownish wicket proved to be a spinners' paradise as Nauman and Yasir finished with match figures of 7/73 and 7/133 respectively.

In contrast, South Africa's spinners Maharaj and George Linde clinched just two wickets and were rendered toothless against the Pakistan batsmen.

The Proteas were overcome by a nightmare start when nightwatchman Maharaj was bowled for two by a Hasan Ali delivery that stayed down.

The tourists' skipper Quinton de Kock was dismissed soon after a lethargic prod off Yasir and was caught sharply by Abid at short leg.

Temba Bavuma looked the most settled South African batsman in the middle and cautiously battled the spinners to surge his team's lead. He made 40 runs and was involved in a 42-run stand with Linde but fell victim to Nauman's scorching spell of bowling as the 34-year-old prised out four wickets in 22 balls.

Nauman's wickets also included Rabada for one, Nortje for a duck and Linde for 11 as his grip and turn outclassed South Africa's tail. He became the 12th Pakistan bowler to take five wickets in an innings on Test debut.

The Proteas' first trip to Pakistan in 14 years has thus not gotten off to an ideal start.