ISLAMABAD: Bowling all-rounder Faheem Ashraf’s unbeaten 78 helped Pakistan accomplish 272 runs in the first innings of the second Test against South Africa at Pindi Stadium Rawalpindi on Friday.
Faheem was the pick of the batsmen as he took Pakistan out of trouble when the Green-shirts had lost Skipper Babar Azam and Fawad Alam in the early morning. Faheem scored 78 off 160 balls including 12 fours.
Pakistan started the day with 145 for 3 on the board but could not materialize as wickets came in just like the visitors wanted. Anrich Nortje dismissed Babar on the second ball (58.2 over) of the day. The prolific batsman was edged to Faf du Plessis, one of the best fielders in world cricket, at second slip. Babar was 23 runs away from his hundred (77).
The second big wicket of Fawad was downed in the 63.4 over as he was run out by Temba Bavuma. He tried to scamper a single by knocking it to the off side, but Bavuma picked up the ball and threw it in one move which hit the stumps at the bowler’s end. Fawad was on 45 runs just five away from his fifty.
The wicket-keeper batsman Mohammad Rizwan’s (18) was the third wicket of the morning. Nortje hammered in the short ball and Rizwan tried to hook the ball, but top-edged it and was caught by Kagiso Rabada in the 82.3 over.
Pakistan were 229 before lunch. But lost Hasan Ali 8 in the 93.2 over, bowled by Keshav Maharaja and was caught by Dean Elgar.
Pakistan’s eighth wicket was lost in the likes of Yasir Shah who went for 8 runs. He was taken by Wiaan Mulder in the 102.4 over. Nauman Ali 8 and Shaheen Shah Afridi 0 also didn’t stay for long at the crease and went in the 115th over of Anrich Nortje.
The visitors started bad as they lost two early wickets to Pakistani pacer Hasan Ali who just made a comeback in the team with a blast. Hasan struck in the 6th over of the second innings on the day and dismissed two back-to-back wickets of Elgar 15 and Rassie van der Dussen 0, but was unable to materialise the hat-trick.
Hassan last played for Pakistan in June 2019. A combination of bad form and injuries seemed to put on hold the career of the fast-bowler who has so far taken 150 international wickets. He was the top ranked bowler in the ICC ODI Player Rankings in 2017 and was also the player of the tournament in the Champions Trophy of the same year.
The Proteas lost their third wicket of Faf du Plessis (17) in the 15th over bowled by Faheem. He tried to cut the ball but got a thick edge, and was taken by wicket-keeper Rizwan.
Pakistan’s spinner Nauman Ali also took a wicket to his name in the 24th over by dismissing Aiden Markam on 32 who was trying to settle down but went unlucky. However, South Africa managed to score 106 runs for four in 28 overs and trail by 166 runs at end of the second day.