Hasan Ali ripped out South Africa's lower order before the visitors' spinners kept them in an intriguing contest with Pakistan.

Hasan (5-54) claimed the second five-wicket haul of his Test career as the Proteas were bundled out for 201, giving Pakistan a first-innings lead of 71 on day three of the second Test.

Keshav Maharaj (2-74) and George Linde then shared five wickets to prevent the hosts from pulling away, although Faheem Ashraf (29) and Mohammad Rizwan (28 not out) combined for a vital sixth-wicket stand of 52.

Slow left-armer Linde (3-12) persuaded Faheem to slice to Anrich Nortje at backward point in the penultimate over, but a score of 129-6 at stumps means Pakistan's lead is 200 on a surface already displaying variable bounce.

South Africa resumed on 106-4 in their first innings, with plenty of their hopes pinned on Quinton de Kock. Unfortunately, the captain could only add five to his overnight 24 before being bowled when driving at Shaheen Afridi.

Afridi was also responsible for running out Wiaan Mulder, who pushed for two down to fine leg and departed for 33, ending a 49-run stand with Temba Bavuma, who was left high and dry on 44 not out.

That was largely down to Hasan, who bowled Linde for 21 before rearranging Maharaj and Nortje's stumps.

Kagiso Rabada became the fourth South African run out in the series but made amends by trapping Imran Butt lbw for a duck. That was part of a masterful new-ball spell with Nortje as the South Africa pacemen began the innings with 25 dot balls.

Maharaj still came into the attack early and wheeled through 21 of the 51 overs bowled, having Abid Ali caught behind sweeping for 13 and pinning Babar Azam lbw for eight - the third time in four innings the Pakistan captain has fallen to South Africa's premier spinner.

Linde was able to offer Maharaj far more effective support this time around, having lacerated the little finger on his bowling hand during the first innings, and had Azhar Ali leg before for 33 and Fawad Alam pouched at short leg.

PROFLIGATE PROTEAS

After Nortje - operating at a blistering pace just shy of 150 km/h - and Rabada put the shackles on Pakistan and Maharaj and Linde got among the wickets, a route to a series-levelling victory was starting to open up in Rawalpindi. However, Faheem was dropped on nought by Dean Elgar at slip off Linde and next ball Rizwan edged Maharaj to Rassie van der Dussen at silly point, only to be similarly spared. In the final analysis of a low-scoring contest, those mistakes might look absolutely dire.

TOUGH START AT THE TOP FOR BUTT

Butt's exit without troubling the scorers continued a meagre start to the 25-year-old's Test career. A first-innings 15 here is his best effort in four attempts. There are few sterner examinations to be had for Test openers as when Rabada and Nortje are in the mood; however, Butt must earn the right to sail in less choppy waters.

South Africa face a battle to avoid another first-innings deficit after Anrich Nortje's fine work with the ball was undone by a rocky reply to Pakistan's 272 in the second Test.

Pakistan had made 145-3 on day one before rain intervened and Nortje was the cause of their frustration when play resumed on Friday, snaring 5-56 to put the hosts in the field before tea.

But the Proteas' solid early efforts with the bat - including a string of boundaries - were disrupted by Hasan Ali, who removed Dean Elgar (15) and Rassie van der Dussen from consecutive deliveries.

With those wickets right at the end of the second session, the day turned and Faf du Plessis followed to Faheem Ashraf for 17.

Nauman Ali - sublime in the first Test as Pakistan dominated - then teed up a simple but crucial catch for Shaheed Afridi to remove Aiden Markram (32), reducing South Africa to 81-4 before a mini-recovery to 106 without further loss preceded the close of play.

It ended a day of two halves as the Proteas, just like a day earlier, enjoyed a productive first session, with Babar Azam unable to add to his overnight score of 77, edging Nortje to second slip from just the second ball of the day.

Fawad Alam (45), who had held up the other end of a vital partnership on Thursday, swiftly followed, too, run out with a superb direct hit from Temba Bavuma.

Faheem steadied the Pakistan innings slightly, although Nortje's decision to take the second new ball soon paid dividends as he halted Mohammad Rizwan (18) in his next over.

That dismissal ended a promising stand of 41 and Faheem eventually ran out of partners, still unbeaten on 78 as Nortje concluded the innings and his five-for with fierce deliveries to Nauman and Shaheen in the same over.

Only if South Africa can regain some composure with the bat will Nortje be able to celebrate his contribution to a much-needed win, which would be their first in 14 Tests on the subcontinent.


HASAN ALI HAVING HIS SAY

Hasan has endured a tough time with injury in the past few years, returning to the Test arena in this series for the first time since January 2019. If the fast bowler was merely playing a supporting role to the spinners in the opening match last week, this was a more telling contribution, potentially changing the course of the result.

SOUTH AFRICA TURN TO SKIPPER

Quinton de Kock would appear to be taking charge of his final Test match as South Africa captain but may now have to rediscover his best form to make sure it is not a losing swan song. The skipper has not made a Test fifty since January 2020 or a hundred since October 2019, yet the Proteas were reeling as he arrived at the crease on Friday, able to settle the innings a little by dashing to an unbeaten 24 at stumps.

Babar Azam and Fawad Alam halted a worrying start to the second Test between Pakistan and South Africa before rain stopped play at Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium on Thursday.

Pakistan won the opening Test but lost three wickets for just one run as they were reduced to 22-3 in a promising first session for the Proteas on day one.

However, like he did with a century in Karachi last week, Fawad (42no) helped get the hosts back on track by establishing a 123-run partnership with captain Babar (77no).

The pair displayed some wonderful shots as they took the match to South Africa, with Babar racking up 12 fours and Fawad five but rain during tea stopped them returning on 145-3.

Keshav Maharaj would have had a first-ball wicket had Temba Bavuma held on to Imran Butt (15) at first slip on 13 but he got his man courtesy of a sharp catch from wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock, making his final appearance as Test captain.

Maharaj (2-51) had Azhar Ali lbw for a duck in his next over and Pakistan looked in serious trouble when Aiden Markram reacted brilliantly at short leg after Anrich Nortje's rapid delivery struck Abid Ali (6) on the thigh and zoomed towards him.

However, Babar responded by getting off the mark with back-to-back boundaries and, alongside Karachi hero Fawad, steered the hosts to lunch without further loss.

The duo continued to assert themselves and Babar brought up his 16th Test half-century and took Pakistan into triple figures with a fine shot in front of square.

Kagiso Rabada thought he had made the breakthrough but his appeal for lbw against Babar was ignored, with replays showing the skipper sent an inside edge onto his pads.

South Africa were unable to break the impressive fourth-wicket stand before tea and heavy rainfall denied them the chance to make further inroads during the final session.

 

PEAKY LINDE

George Linde left the field during the first session for an X-ray after hurting a finger on his left bowling hand while fielding.

He did not sustain a fracture but received stitches and practiced bowling with protective strapping on before stepping back inside the ropes before tea.

Linde did not bowl another over, but the Proteas will be hoping he can do so before the end of the match, with Dean Elgar having stepped up as a second spin option.

South Africa will want to avoid being on the wrong end of a series sweep as they aim to end a barren run in Asia when they go up against Pakistan in the second Test. 

Having suffered a seven-wicket defeat in Rawalpindi, the Proteas are now winless in their previous 13 Tests on the subcontinent, a dismal run of form that followed a 153-run victory over Sri Lanka in Galle in July 2014. 

The tourists were undone by Pakistan's spin pairing of Yasir Shah and Nauman Ali in the first game, with the duo taking 14 of the 20 South Africa wickets to fall at the National Stadium. 

However, the venue for the second Test could offer a little more help to the quicker bowlers, a welcome boost for struggling South Africa as they bid to draw level. 

Their plans for the first Test were hampered by the late withdrawal of Tabraiz Shamsi, who suffered a back issue in the warm-up and had to be replaced by paceman Lungi Ngidi.  

Shamsi has recovered in time to be considered for selection, while opening batsman Dean Elgar is also fit to play after a taking a nasty blow to the hand while batting in his team's second innings. 

South Africa fought hard in the face of a hefty first-innings deficit but were left with too much to do after only making 220 on day one. Amid the frustration, all the top seven in the order reached double figures but failed to build on it, their cause not helped by both Rassie van der Dussen and Temba Bavuma getting run out. 

As for the hosts, their line-up may well depend on the pitch. Considering the balance of the side worked so well last time out, it could be they go with the same XI again. 

The top order did struggle but Fawad Alam's century and a wagging tail helped rescue their first innings, having at one stage slumped to 27-4 late on day one. Babar Azam had a quiet debut in his role as Test captain in terms of his output with the bat, managing 37 runs in his two knocks.

CAPTAINCY SWANSONG FOR DE KOCK? 

It appears Quinton de Kock is set for his final Test in charge of the Proteas – for now at least. The wicketkeeper-batsman may have been set to continue in the role for the Tests against Australia on home soil, but that series has been postponed. Instead, the break will allow De Kock to get some well-earned rest and team management to assess their options. 

"When we get back after this tour we've got a bit of time before our next series so we can sit down and make a good, solid call on who can take over from him and release him from that burden and try and get the best out of him," South Africa coach Mark Boucher said on the eve of the game. 

 
SPINNERS IN SIGHT FOR YASIR 

Yasir played a pivotal role in the opener, finishing with match figures of 7-133. His haul in Karachi takes his career tally in Tests to 234 wickets, meaning he is just three shy of fifth place on the all-time list for Pakistan.  

The great Abdul Qadir currently occupies the spot, while another leg-spinner in Danish Kaneria sits third on 261. However, there is some way to go to catch the bowler on top; Wasim Akram finished his career with 414 wickets at a ridiculously impressive average of 23.62.  


KEY MATCH FACTS

- South Africa will be looking to avoid a fourth consecutive multi-game Test series loss away from home; it would be the first time the Proteas have lost as many such series in succession since losing each of their first seven in the format (July 1907 – February 1932).

- Pakistan won their most recent Test at Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium by an innings and 44 runs (against Bangladesh, February 2020). They will be aiming to secure back-to-back triumphs at the venue for the first time.

- Babar Azam has scored a century in each of his previous two Test innings in Rawalpindi; no player has more at the venue in the format (Saeed Anwar and Michael Slater also have two).

- Pakistan have dropped 13 catches in Tests so far this year, the most by any side and one of only two in double figures (India – 10).

- Kagiso Rabada has a bowling strike rate of 41.1 in Test cricket, the best by any player to take at least 150 wickets in the format.

- Faheem Ashraf finished with the best dot ball percentage (89.3 per cent) of any bowler in the first Test, though it was the first time he has failed to claim a wicket.

Nauman Ali claimed a maiden five-wicket haul to help Pakistan win the first Test against South Africa in Karachi, despite an early wobble in their run chase.

Having bowled out the Proteas for 245 in the first session on day four, the hosts lost openers Abid Ali and Imran Butt to slip to 23-2 when needing 88.

However, captain Babar Azam made 30 and despite his departure on the brink of victory, trapped lbw by Keshav Maharaj, first-innings centurion Fawad Alam hit the winning boundary to seal a seven-wicket triumph. Azhar Ali, meanwhile, finished up unbeaten on 31.

South Africa have now lost eight successive Tests overseas. They had resumed on 187-4 but managed to add just a further 58 runs for the loss of their final six wickets, debutant Nauman taking four of them as he finished with 5-35 from 25.3 overs.

Nightwatchman Maharaj was dismissed by the first ball of the day, bowled by one that kept a little low from paceman Hasan Ali.

Proteas captain Quinton de Kock then fell to Yasir Shah for two, giving the leg spinner a fourth wicket of the innings.

From then on, though, Nauman took charge. He worked his way through the tail and while Temba Bavuma battled hard, the batsman was last man out when trapped lbw by the left-arm spinner for 40.

Anrich Nortje gave the tourists a glimmer of hope when he dismissed both opening batsmen straight after the lunch break, but South Africa will rue a late clatter of wickets on day three having battled so hard with the bat to wipe out a first-innings deficit of 168.

 

Nauman makes an immediate impact

At 34 years and 111 days, Nauman was the fourth oldest debutant for Pakistan in the format. The wait proved worthwhile, though, as he finished with impressive match figures of 7-73.

While Yasir claimed the key scalp of De Kock, it was his fellow slow bowler who made sure the home team were left with a manageable target on a tired pitch showing obvious signs of variable bounce.

Babar celebrates home comforts

Despite his late dismissal - falling for a second time in the game to the left-arm spin of Maharaj - Babar can reflect on a satisfying first outing as Test skipper, having missed the 2-0 series defeat in New Zealand due to injury.

As was the case against the Black Caps, the top order struggled for runs. However, Fawad's superb first-innings century helped lead a recovery and the result means Pakistan cannot lose the series now. The second and final match takes place in Rawalpindi, starting on February 4.

Kagiso Rabada put his impressive achievement of reaching 200 Test wickets down to hard work but insisted the "show goes on" after becoming the third fastest South African to reach the milestone.  

The Proteas paceman claimed 3-70 in Pakistan’s first innings during the series opener in Karachi, with the last of those wickets seeing him get to the notable personal landmark in his international career.  

Hasan Ali was bowled to see Rabada make it to 200 on day three of his 44th Test outing; only Dale Steyn (39) and Allan Donald (42) have managed it in fewer appearances for South Africa.  

He is also the third quickest ever when it comes to deliveries bowled – Waqar Younis and Steyn sit above him on that list – having recorded nine five-wicket hauls and taken 10 in a match on four occasions.  

For Rabada, there remains the appetite within to keep on improving, worrying words for opposing batsmen around the world when you consider he is still just 25. 

"It's just hard work and spending a lot of time on your craft, seeing where you can get better," Rabada told the media about his success in the Test arena. "Analysing it, but not over-thinking it.  

"It hasn't all been easy – you find yourself trying to perfect something that might seem so simple, but it's constant repetition, hours and hours of work, so being relentless with that and trying to see how much better you can get and finding ways."

Asked about being in the same company as compatriot Steyn and Pakistan great Waqar when it comes to balls bowled, Rabada replied: "It's a massive feat to be included in a list of such names.  

"When you start playing you don't ever think that you'd be on such a list and have such statistics. All you want to do is the best that you can. 

"I'm really glad, it's satisfying; it's a great milestone, but the show goes on."

Rabada missed the chance to bring up his 200th wicket on home soil as he did not feature in the recent series against Sri Lanka in South Africa, the Proteas understandably taking no risks with their premier strike bowler upon his return from a groin injury.

It meant his appearance against Pakistan was his first in the format since the third match of the series against England, back in January 2020. 

"Test cricket never gets old, never gets any easier as well – you are constantly challenged," Rabada explained upon his return to duty for his country

"Playing in Pakistan as well, it's quite an amazing place. The only place that I haven't played previously, so I'm glad to have the opportunity to play here.  

"It's been hard work, just like any Test match, especially in the subcontinent where you have to be more patient. It teaches you a lot of lessons and I've been reminded of some of them."

Pakistan took three priceless wickets in a devastating 25-minute burst before the close to leave South Africa in deep trouble in the first Test.

A gripping third day of the clash in Karachi looked set to be one that ended with South Africa in healthy shape in their second innings, but the impressive Yasir Shah had other thoughts and helped reduce the tourists to 187-4, for a slender lead of 29 runs.

The losses of Rassie van der Dussen (64), Faf du Plessis (10) and Aiden Markram (74) in that rush of wickets meant the advantage was firmly with Pakistan at the close.

In the first of two Tests, Pakistan had earlier frustrated their visitors with the bat when a wagging tail saw them move from 308-8 at the start of Thursday's play to 378 all out.

That gave Pakistan a first-innings lead of 158, not bad going for a team who had been 27-4 at one stage.

Kagiso Rabada removed Hasan Ali in the morning, smashing his middle stump out of the ground, and the South Africa paceman's figures of 3-70 took him to 200 Test wickets.

But Pakistan's lower order largely showed impressive defiance, and number 11 batsman Yasir, who has a Test century to his name, was stranded on 38 not out when Nauman Ali (24) was last man out.

Yasir would soon get his leg breaks turning and removed Dean Elgar for 29 to break up South Africa's opening partnership.

Markram, who has enjoyed hot spells with the bat on home soil, then looked to have chosen an opportune moment to make a first Test half-century outside South Africa, but the events of the final half-hour saw Pakistan wrest back control.

Abid Ali took a sharp catch at silly mid-off to give Yasir the important wicket of Van der Dussen, ending a 127-run second-wicket partnership.

Du Plessis had an early life when a review spared him an lbw dismissal, the ball from Yasir shown to have pitched millimetres outside leg stump.

But Yasir would not be denied for long and soon had his man pinned in front again, with no doubts second time around.

Markram was prised out by Nauman moments later, prodding to silly mid-off, as the complexion of the contest changed completely.


Yasir a game-changer

First came his quickfire runs from number 11, the sort of innings that causes opponents deep frustration, but then we saw Yasir at his best with the ball. Markram and Van der Dussen looked to be leading South Africa to a healthy position - and to be only one down and back in the black at the start of Friday's play would have been a huge boon. But Yasir (3-53) kept his focus sharp and his deliveries repeatedly hitting the mark in those closing overs, and the rewards deservedly came his way.

Breakthrough for Markram

The South Africa opener has four Test centuries but until this innings he had curiously never posted a fifty outside his home country in the five-day game. It was a purposeful, positive knock and looked set to see him grab the day's headlines, until Yasir put the Proteas in a spin. With wickets falling at the other end, Nauman seized the moment to prise out a presumably distracted Markram and land perhaps the most telling blow of all.

Hope for tourists?

If Pakistan were able to battle back from 27-4, then why shouldn't South Africa, who are 29 runs ahead in the match but also four down, also find runs in their middle and lower orders? Temba Bavuma and Keshav Maharaj have recent Test half-centuries, and the influence of captain Quinton de Kock, who resumes on nought on Friday, could be all-important.

Fawad Alam made his third Test century as Pakistan took the upper hand on a frustrating day two for South Africa in Karachi.

Pakistan resumed on Wednesday in deep trouble on 33-4 in reply to the Proteas' 220 all out but recovered to 308-8 at stumps with an 88-run lead at the National Stadium.

Fawad made a superb 109, while Azhar Ali (51) and Faheem Ashraf (64) also played big hands as Babar Azam's side turned the tide following such a dramatic opening day of the two-match series.

Left-hander Fawad was dropped on 35 and 92 by Dean Elgar and Quinton de Kock respectively before bringing up his hundred with a six off spinner Keshav Maharaj.

The Proteas failed to take a wicket in the first session, which ended with Pakistan on 104-4, but former captain Azhar was caught behind off Maharaj (2-71) to end a stand of 94 with Fawad after digging in for a 33rd half-century in the longest format.

Mohammad Rizwan (33) fell to Lungi Ngidi in the final over before tea to leave Pakistan 176-6, but Fawad and Faheem took Pakistan into the lead with a partnership of 102.

Ngidi (2-55) ended Fawad's brilliant 245-ball knock and Faheem played on to an Anrich Nortje (2-84) yorker, but it was very much Pakistan's day, with Maharaj denied a third wicket when he bowled Hasan Ali but over-stepped.

Fawad making up for lost time

Middle-order batsman Fawad has made up for lost time after being recalled to face England last August almost 11 years after his previous Test appearance.

The left-hander was rattled on the helmet by Kagiso Rabada and had some deserved fortune as he played superbly to put Pakistan in a strong position.

Fawad has gone on to reach three figures on all three occasions he has made a half-century. He struck two sixes and found the rope nine times before he was taken by Temba Bavuma at short midwicket to become Ngidi's second victim.

Rabada made to wait for landmark

Proteas paceman Rabada took two wickets in a devastating new-ball burst late on day one, but remains one shy of 200 Test scalps.

He bowled probing lines without reward and was economical, missing out on reaching the landmark when captain De Kock dropped Fawad in the 90s.

Kagiso Rabada struck twice as Pakistan made a nightmare start to their reply after bowling South Africa out on a dramatic day one of the Test series in Karachi.

The Proteas, touring Pakistan for the first time in 14 years, were dismissed for 220 after winning the toss at the National Stadium on Tuesday, Yasir Shah taking 3-54.

Dean Elgar (58) made a half-century but South Africa lost four wickets in the afternoon session and were all out not long after tea, debutant Nauman Ali and paceman Shaheen Shah Afridi finishing with two wickets apiece.

Rabada, playing his first Test for just over a year, then brought Pakistan back down to earth as he took 2-8 in six overs and they were in deep trouble on 33-4 at stumps.

Fit-again paceman Rabada removed Imran Butt for only nine on his debut and dismissed Abid Ali before Keshav Maharaj claimed the huge scalp of Babar Azam for just seven in his first innings as Test captain.

Anrich Nortje got in on the act by seeing the back of nightwatchman Afridi and Pakistan will resume on day two trailing by 187 runs.

The tourists had early been going along nicely on 63-1 until Rassie van der Dussen was run out by a combination of Babar and Mohammad Rizwan and they stumbled to 179-6 at tea, Elgar edging Nauman (2-38) to Babar at first slip after digging in for a valuable half-century.

George Linde chipped in with 35 before falling to the recalled Hasan Ali and Rabada made an unbeaten 21 before making a big impact with the ball as South Africa hit back late in the day to take the upper hand.

Proteas in a spin

Pakistan are without a win in five Tests and arrived home smarting from a 2-0 loss in New Zealand but made an encouraging start to this two-match series.

A brilliant slip catch from Butt off the bowling of Afridi accounted for Aiden Markram, but it was the spinners who did the bulk of the damage. Yasir got rid of Faf du Plessis, while Nauman – the fourth-oldest Test debutant for Pakistan aged 34 – claimed the scalps of skipper Quinton de Kock and Elgar as South Africa folded.

Rapid Rabada on brink of 200 club

Rabada came steaming in with the new ball to turn the tide, sending Abid Ali's off stump cartwheeling out of the ground before snaring Butt, who was caught at leg gully.

The paceman is now just one away from two 200 Test scalps and will come charging in again on day two with Pakistan in the mire after Maharaj trapped Babar in front and Afridi was bowled by Nortje for a duck.

Babar Azam will finally get the chance to lead Pakistan in Test cricket as a two-match series against South Africa begins in Karachi on Tuesday.  

Batsman Babar was appointed to the role last November, yet missed both Tests on the tour of New Zealand, as well as the Twenty20 series that followed, after suffering a fractured thumb during a practice session.  

Mohammad Rizwan took charge in the regular skipper’s absence, though he was unable to prevent Pakistan slipping to a 2-0 defeat against the Black Caps.  

The return of Babar on home soil is a boost, not least because he will bolster a batting line-up that struggled badly in New Zealand.  

Shan Masood has lost his place at the top of the order following a lack of runs, while the Pakistan selectors also left out Haris Sohail and Mohammad Abbas from an initial 20-man squad.  

Opener Imran Butt is set to make his Test debut at the National Stadium, a venue where the home team have lost only one of their last seven Tests, albeit that defeat did come against the Proteas, back in October 2007.  

Both Shadab Khan and Naseem Shah are missing due to injuries, while Abbas' absence from the bowling attack could lead to a recall for Hasan Ali.

As for South Africa, they have arrived fresh from a 2-0 series sweep over Sri Lanka. Quinton de Kock continues in charge, the wicketkeeper-batsman set to play in his 50th Test in the opener. 

The Proteas captain has Kagiso Rabada available again, bolstering a pace attack that performed so impressively against Sri Lanka without him. With Anrich Nortje, Lungi Ngidi and Lutho Sipamla also vying to play, there are a wealth of options when it comes to seam bowling.

However, the balancing act for South Africa will come over whether to select two spinners. Tabraiz Shamsi is the likely option to come into the XI, joining forces with fellow slow bowler Keshav Maharaj. 
 

NO PLACE LIKE HOME 

His absence keenly felt in New Zealand, Babar will be determined to make up for lost time when he goes up against South Africa in his homeland. 

The stylish right-hander has scored 50 or more in each of his four Test innings in Pakistan, including three centuries. His batting average in the country (202.5) is the best by any player in Test history there. 
 

MILESTONES IN SIGHT FOR DE KOCK 

There is the potential for not one but two major milestones for De Kock, who had a relatively quiet series with the bat against Sri Lanka. 

The destructive left-hander is just 38 away from becoming the 16th player to score 3,000 Test runs for South Africa. He equalled his highest Test score (129) in his most recent innings against Pakistan two years ago, too. 


KEY MATCH FACTS

- South Africa have lost only one of their 10 multi-game Test series against Pakistan (W6, D3), that loss coming when they toured Pakistan in 2003 (1-0).

- Lutho Sipamla finished with a bowling strike-rate of 23.9 in the Proteas' most recent Test series (10 wickets against Sri Lanka), the best by any player. 

- Pakistan have lost only one of their last eight Test series on home soil (W5, D2), though that solitary setback came against South Africa (1-0 in October 2007).

- Mohammad Rizwan has scored 50+ in five of his previous six Test innings, having done so only once in his first 11 at the crease in the format.

- Faf du Plessis has faced Shaheen Afridi in three Test innings heading into this series, being dismissed by the Pakistan paceman on each occasion while scoring just 27 runs in response.

Agha Salman, Abdullah Shafique and Kamran Ghulam have been omitted from Pakistan's squad for the first Test against South Africa.

The trio were named in an initial squad of 20 for the opening Test in Karachi, which starts on Tuesday, but did not make the final cut.

With Shafique overlooked, Imran Butt looks set to be handed his debut his debut at the top of the order.

Pakistan were whitewashed 2-0 in their last Test series against New Zealand and are without a win in five matches in the longest format, but head coach Misbah-ul-Haq is optimistic they can turn the tide.

He said: "Understanding how poor we were in the field on our previous New Zealand tour, we have given fielding much importance while preparing [to play the Proteas].

"We are having extraordinary training sessions, with dedicated sessions to bring improvements. We are overall ready and looking forward to taking on South Africa."

Pakistan squad: Abid Ali , Imran Butt, Azhar Ali, Babar Azam (captain), Fawad Alam, Saud Shakeel, Faheem Ashraf, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan, Sarfraz Ahmed, Nauman Ali, Sajid Khan, Yasir Shah, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Tabish Khan.

Pakistan all-rounder Shoaib Malik has emerged unscathed from a car crash in Lahore.

The former Pakistan captain was involved in an accident after attending the Pakistan Super League player draft held in the city on Sunday.

Shoaib, 38, was reported to have skidded and hit a truck parked close to a restaurant near the Pakistan Cricket Board's high-performance centre where the draft was staged.

"I am perfectly all right everybody," he posted on Twitter.

"It was just a happenstance accident and Almighty has been extremely benevolent.

"Thank you to each one of you who've reached out. I am deeply grateful for all the love and care."

Shoaib has played 35 Tests, 287 one-day internationals and 75 Twenty20 games for Pakistan.

Uncapped bowlers Daryn Dupavillon and Ottniel Baartman have been included in the South Africa Test squad for their first tour of Pakistan in 14 years.

Paceman Dupavillon has earned a maiden Test call-up, while seamer Baartman has been selected for the first time at international level.

Fit-again quick Kagiso Rabada and all-rounder Dwaine Pretorius were named in a 21-man squad on Friday after playing no part in the 2-0 whitewash of Sri Lanka.

Spinners Tabraiz Shamsi and George Linde will also fly out to Pakistan on January 15 ahead of the first of two Tests, which starts in Karachi 11 days later.

South Africa convener of selectors Victor Mpitsang said: "As a selection panel, we are very excited to see how the tour of Pakistan will pan out for the players we have chosen.

"We are confident in our selections and believe in rewarding good performance both on and off the field, which is why we have gone with the core of the group that was selected for the Sri Lanka home series.

"Considering that the conditions that will be faced are largely unknown to the South African team, we wanted to strengthen the attack with the skill sets that Tabraiz Shamsi and George Linde have to offer, while giving players like Daryn Dupavillon and Ottniel Baartman an opportunity after making strong cases for themselves in recent seasons."

 

South Africa Test squad: 

Quinton de Kock (captain), Temba Bavuma, Aiden Markram, Faf du Plessis, Dean Elgar, Kagiso Rabada, Dwaine Pretorius, Keshav Maharaj, Lungi Ngidi, Rassie van der Dussen, Anrich Nortje, Wiaan Mulder, Lutho Sipamla, Beuran Hendricks, Kyle Verreynne, Sarel Erwee, Keegan Petersen, Tabraiz Shamsi, George Linde, Daryn Dupavillon, Ottniel Baartman.

Kane Williamson reflected on a "special moment" but insists New Zealand will continue to work hard to improve after reaching the summit of the Test world rankings.

The Black Caps wrapped up victory over Pakistan by an innings and 176 runs on day four at Hagley Oval on Wednesday to seal a 2-0 series win and become the top-ranked Test nation for the first time.

Kyle Jamieson took 6-48 and had 11 wickets in the game to take the Man of the Match award as Pakistan were bowled out for 186 in their second innings.

New Zealand have now won six straight Tests for the first time and swept three consecutive home series', but captain Williamson still wants to see his side kick on.

"It's hard to beat really, I don't know how the rankings work exactly I know they span over a period of time, to achieve that standing means there's been a lot of hard work over a lot of matches, and trainings and all these sort of things to reach that, so it's very special moment from the guys," he said. 

"It's hard to talk about until the Test summer was over, so it's nice to sit back and perhaps take a moment and enjoy the moment.

"I sort of mentioned before in the after match [presentation] that the game is truly a game of small margins. 

"As a side we're pleased with the efforts that went into these last two games but we know the quality side Pakistan have and there were definitely moments in both games that went our way or perhaps moments that we seized and went a long way to putting the result in our favour. 

"It's a game of small margins, guys respect that and it's about working harder and harder to move forward as a collective. 

"We know our next matches will be overseas tours, and just constant adjustments, tinkering to try and perform well in those matches."

For Jamieson, it has been a superb start to Test cricket and he now has four five-fors in six Tests.

"He's a special talent but his attitude, the way he's come in and try to add to the group on or off the field is the most impressive thing. In many ways he's leading and that's great," Williamson added.

"Cricket is an interesting game and something Kyle is extremely good at with bat and ball, a very, very special talent. 

"I think if he continues to, and I'm sure he will he's got great head on his shoulders, bring that great attitude he has - things have come very thick and fast for Kyle and that's a really enjoyable part to the game, something he's learning about and learning about himself.

"But he has a strong desire to improve and pick the brains of the senior guys who have been around a long time. He's a humble guy who wants to get better, I've no doubt he will."

Kyle Jamieson inspired New Zealand to a comprehensive win over Pakistan in the second Test in Christchurch.

Jamieson took 6-48 in the second innings, and 11 wickets for the match, as the Black Caps wrapped up victory by an innings and 176 runs on day four at Hagley Oval on Wednesday.

Pakistan were dismissed for 186 as New Zealand won a sixth straight Test for the first time in their history and secured a 2-0 series success, going top of the world rankings for the first time.

Azhar Ali (37) and Zafar Gohar (37) provided the most resistance as the tourists had no answers to Jamieson and Trent Boult (3-43).

Only Richard Hadlee (15 against Australia in 1985) and Daniel Vettori (12, twice) have taken more wickets in a single Test for New Zealand than Jamieson's 11.

Pakistan resumed at 8-1, still trailing by 354 runs, before Mohammad Abbas (3) fell early after edging Boult behind to BJ Watling, and wasting a review.

Substitute fielder Will Young then took a spectacular one-handed catch diving to his right at point to remove Abid Ali (26) off Jamieson.

Haris Sohail (15) and Azhar edged Jamieson behind to leave Pakistan at 88-5 and the Black Caps well on track for victory.

Mohammad Rizwan (10), Fawad Alam (16) and Faheem Ashraf (28) provided limited resistance before Gohar's late hitting, with Kane Williamson – who made a double century on Tuesday – chipping in with a wicket.

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