Welcome to the live blog coverage of day one of the second Test between Pakistan and South Africa in Karachi. Please refresh the page to get latest updates about the cricket action in the middle. Follow live ball-by-ball score here.
16th Test fifty for Babar Azam!
What a way for the Pakistan captain to get to his personal milestone. Lovely use of the wristwork and wonderful placement to flick it through the midwicket region as Pakistan grow in confidence. The authoritative batting display put on Babar Azam and Fawad Alam is drilling South Africa into submission. Nine boundaries to get to half-century No. 16 for Babar and he is exhibiting tremendous class with his ravishing drives and fluent strokes.
South Africa's woes are compounded by the finger injury to George Linde, who has left the field for X-rays to confirm the extent of the blow.
Fawad, Babar inject a sense of calmness
An admirable rebuilding job from the two batsmen, who appear to be totally unperturbed by South Africa's relentless attack. Babar and Fawad have warded off the threat of further collapse with the Pakistan skipper proactively playing his shots to combat the bowlers. Fawad is his usual compact self as he is not keen on offering strokes to balls delivered in the fourth and fifth stump channel.
Marvellous reflexes from Markram
It's three down now and South Africa are bossing the proceedings! Abid Ali is the latest casualty for the hosts and he is ruffled by a rapid short delivery from Anrich Nortje. The fastest ball of the day, bowled at 146 kmph, and Abid unsuccessfully tries to tuck it around the corner.
The batsman's feet are in the air as he gets an inside edge towards the right of Aiden Markram at short leg, who stays low and stretches his hand perfectly to pluck a stunner!
Maharaj is wreaking havoc!
The pressure was mounting on Azhar Ali, who seemed fidgety out there, and he is dismissed for a duck. Maharaj is toying with the Pakistan batsmen and the strangulation act is working supremely for him. After several deliveries gripping and turning on the pitch, Maharaj slides on an arm ball that hits Azhar flush on the pad in front of middle stump. Azhar is sensible enough to not burn a review for Pakistan and Babar walks to the crease.
The left-arm spinner reaps rewards for his consistently nagging lines. Maharaj was in action in the game straight away inducing a couple of nervy moments including drop from Bavuma to give Abid a life. But the wily slow bowler rejoices this time as Quinton de Kock holds onto a nice catch from a heavy deflection of the bat of Imran Butt.
The Maharaj delivery to dismiss Imran Butt found 2.2° of drift in to the right-hander, followed by 6.4° of spin away off the pitch.— The CricViz Analyst (@cricvizanalyst) February 4, 2021
This is the largest amount of both movement through the air, and off the pitch that the spinner has found so far today.#PAKvSA
The extravagant spin and bounce on the lively Rawalpindi pitch is the undoing of Butt and South Africa bag the early bragging rights in the first hour. Anrich Nortje, on the other end, has been similarly probing the batsmen with tight, attacking bowling.
Regulation chance shelled!
Temba Bavuma at slip has dropped a sitter! Goodness me, that was a straightforward catch and Keshav Maharaj should have picked up the wicket of Abid Ali. First over of spin today with the hard new ball and Maharaj gets it to rip and turn in the surface to get the outside edge of Abid. The Pakistan opener is probably expecting the ball to angle into him but is rendered lucky as Bavuma, not a regular slip fielder mind you, makes a costly error.
Rabada creating a few problems
The premier South Africa paceman has looked menacing in his opening spell, causing a couple of close lbw shouts. He also had Abid Ali in two minds regarding whether to leave an outswinger or play at it. In the end, Abid inside-edges the ball in bizarre fashion for a streaky boundary behind the keeper.
Just as the experts predicted, the team winning the toss has decided to bat first. Babar Azam is the fortunate captain here and Pakistan have named an unchanged side from the one that triumphed in Karachi. The decision was on the cards despite Misbah's comments about inducting pace.
Meanwhile, South Africa have strengthened their batting resources by including Wiaan Mulder in place of Lungi Ngidi. They might have lost some bite in their bowling line-up due to this tactic but Mulder has also been an impressive seamer.
Pakistan - Imran Butt, Abid Ali, Azhar Ali, Babar Azam (capt), Fawad Alam, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Faheem Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Yasir Shah, Nauman Ali, Shaheen Afridi
South Africa - Dean Elgar, Aiden Markram, Rassie van der Dussen, Faf du Plessis, Quinton de Kock (capt & wk), Temba Bavuma, Wiaan Mulder, George Linde, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje
Good morning everyone! Pakistan are chasing a rare series win over a smarting South Africa, who were defeated quite comprehensively on a slow surface in Karachi. Pakistan's seven-wicket victory was architected by a splendid batting effort from Fawad Alam and a splendid demolition job headed by spin twins Nauman Ali and Yasir Shah.
A lot of frailties were exposed in South Africa's batting in the opening Test, none more glaring than the failure of their aggressive approach in the first innings. Quinton de Kock's flop shows combined with uninspiring leadership has made his captaincy post extremely fragile. In what seems to be his last match as the Proteas Test skipper, he would be aiming to help his team clinch an elusive win in the subcontinent.
Much of the talk ahead of this match has been centred on the traditionally greener pitches in Rawalpindi. The ground has conventionally been a profitable place for fast bowlers and head coach Misbah-ul-Haq recently hinted at handing out a maiden Test cap to Haris Rauf to utilise these conditions. If the trial by pace indeed does become a reality, South Africa will be confident about their chances of prevailing.