South Africa experienced a tough day at the office on day two of the first Test against Pakistan after Fawad Alam’s century left them chasing the game at the National Stadium in Karachi on Wednesday.
The veteran all-rounder played a key hand in the hosts’ revival with a fine 109 (245 balls, 9 fours, 2 sixes) – his third career century – that helped lift his side to 308 for eight at the close.
That put Pakistan 88 runs ahead of the Proteas’ first-innings 220, with good contributions also coming from Azhar Ali (51 off 151 balls, 4 fours) and Faheem Ashraf (64 off 84 balls, 9 fours).
Having showed so much of promise with the ball on the opening evening when they claimed four wickets, Mark Boucher’s side would have been hugely disappointed not to have kicked on early on the second morning. But to their credit, the Pakistanis batted with caution initially as Fawad and Azhar lifted them from 33 for four at the start to 121 before the next wicket fell – the latter edging Keshav Maharaj (2/71) behind to Quinton de Kock to end a 94-run stand.
The arrival of Mohammad Rizwan (33) then seemed to get the home side going as 55 were added for the sixth wicket by the pair.
Lungi Ngidi (2/55) broke that partnership to again give the Proteas hope, but they were then punished by a more fluent seventh-wicket partnership of 102 between Fawad and Faheem, a stand in which the former went to his century with a straight six off Maharaj to spark deserved celebrations.
Although men did eventually fall, Hasan Ali (11), frustratingly dismissed by a Maharaj no-ball before the close, and Nauman Ali (6) took Pakistan to stumps in the driving.