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.

Kane Williamson and a hobbling Henry Nicholls put on a batting masterclass as New Zealand tightened their grip on the second Test against Pakistan.

The pair delivered an almost faultless 369-run fourth-wicket partnership, the third highest for any wicket in Black Caps Test history, as the hosts finished day three with a lead of 354 runs.

After New Zealand had declared on 659-6, the tourists were sent in to face 11 overs and the in-form Kyle Jamieson removed Shan Masood as Pakistan closed day three on 8-1.

Williamson had earlier posted another two blistering sessions to score a brilliant 238 and become the quickest of three New Zealanders to score 7,000 career Test runs.

The world’s top-ranked Test batsman notched his fourth Test double century and was supported by a gutsy 157 from Nicholls, who was hampered by a calf strain while bringing up his third Test 150.

Nicholls pushed through the pain barrier on his home ground at Hagley Oval to join Brendon McCullum as the only players with two Test hundreds in Christchurch.

Daryl Mitchell raced to his first Test century before the declaration, scoring 102 not out, as New Zealand recorded their fifth highest all-time Test total.

Starting the day 11 runs behind the tourists’ first-innings total, the hosts picked up where they left off yesterday with Nicholls bringing up his century off 213 balls for 315-3.

Limping between the creases, Nicholls dug deep to navigate the new ball and went on the attack, hitting the first six of the innings, as Williamson surged past 7,000 career Test runs.

The Black Caps skipper was once again putting on a clinic, punching his 21st boundary back past Naseem Shah to bring up the 300 partnership from 459 balls.

The 30-year-old continued to rack up the milestones, reaching 150 in 247 balls, and bringing up 400 on the final ball of the session as the hosts headed to lunch 103 runs ahead.

Kane Williamson continued his impressive form to give New Zealand control of the second Test against Pakistan on Monday.

Williamson scored his 24th Test century and second in as many Tests on a strong day two for the Black Caps at Hagley Oval in Christchurch.

The right-hander finished the day unbeaten on 112 as New Zealand reached 286-3, trailing Pakistan by just 11 runs, with Henry Nicholls (89) also not out.

Williamson, who moved top of the ICC rankings for Test batsmen last week, was scratchy early before accelerating.

He needed 105 balls to reach his half-century but just another 35 to bring up his ton.

It came after Pakistan put themselves in a promising position by reducing the hosts, who lead the two-Test series 1-0, to 71-3.

The wickets of Tom Latham (33), Tom Blundell (16) and Ross Taylor (12) had Pakistan on a high, and they should have had Nicholls cheaply.

The left-hander was caught by Mohammad Rizwan on three, but Shaheen Afridi (1-45) overstepped.

Williamson and Nicholls attacked as the day went on and Pakistan had their troubles in the field, the former edging through Shan Masood and Haris Sohail in the slips on 82.

Masood dropped Williamson after the star New Zealander passed his century before Rizwan put down an easy chance off Nicholls – then on 86 – off Shaheen.

Nicholls hurt his calf late in the day but managed to get to stumps alongside Williamson on an excellent day for the Black Caps.

Kyle Jamieson ripped through Pakistan’s batting line-up but their middle order proved defiant as New Zealand edged day one of the second Test.

The 6’8” fast bowler grabbed his third five-wicket haul for 69 runs in his sixth Test appearance as the tourists were bowled out for 297 in Christchurch.

Mohammad Rizwan’s side were reeling at 88-4 at lunch after Kane Williamson put Pakistan into bat and Jamieson recorded figures of three for 26 runs in a devastating first session.

Tim Southee made the breakthrough removing Shan Masood for a duck, before Jamieson claimed Abid Ali for 25, Haris Sohail for one and Fawad Alam for two as Pakistan lost three wickets for 17 runs.

Azhar Ali and Rizwan’s 88-run fifth-wicket partnership helped Pakistan recover from their morning collapse until Jamieson found Rizwan's outside edge and BJ Watling snared his opposing wicketkeeper for 61.

New Zealand will aim to continue their winning streak in the second and final Test against Pakistan, with Kane Williamson's side having the chance to make history in Christchurch.

The home team won the opening game by 101 runs late on the fifth day in Mount Maunganui, finally seeing off spirited resistance from Pakistan's tail with 4.3 overs remaining.

Victory means the Black Caps have now won five Tests on the spin – they have never previously managed six in a row in the format.

There will be at least one change to their team for their first outing in 2021, Neil Wagner ruled out with a broken toe.

The left-arm paceman played on through the pain in the first Test, earning praise from Williamson. However, he is expected to be sidelined for six weeks, leading to New Zealand calling up Matt Henry.

As for Pakistan, they are set to be boosted by the return of captain Babar Azam, who missed the previous game – as well as the Twenty20 series that preceded the Test action – with a broken thumb.

Without their talismanic captain, the tourists were fragile at the top of the order. They fought back well from 52-5 to post 239 in their first innings, while nearly saved the game despite slipping to 37-3 second time around.

They will be up against it, though; New Zealand have lost only one of their previous seven Tests played at Hagley Oval, a seven-wicket defeat to Australia in February 2016.

 

ON TOP OF THE WORLD

Williamson had a fabulous 2020 in Test cricket, despite the international schedule being badly hampered by the coronavirus pandemic.

The right-hander had the highest average (83) in the format across the previous calendar year out of those players to have had at least four innings, with his knock of 129 in the first Test – combined with Steve Smith's struggles for runs against India – moving him back to the top of the ICC world rankings for Test batsmen.

A career-best score of 251 against West Indies substantially helped his cause. That was his only innings in the series too, as he missed the second Test due to the birth of his first child.

PAKISTAN SET FOR BABAR BOOST

The tourists felt the absence of their captain in the series opener and still almost fought their way to a draw.

Mohammad Rizwan, who was the skipper in the first Test, said Babar was on track for a return, but a decision would have to wait until Sunday.

"He is fine now. He wants to hit some more balls in the nets and we'll decide [on Sunday]," he said, via the New Zealand Herald. "He's a legend and wants to hit some more balls because [on Friday] he batted very well. If he plays, we bat around him. He has a great impact on our team."

Babar, 26, averages 45.44 in 29 Tests for Pakistan, who are aiming to level the series.

KEY OPTA FACTS

- New Zealand will be looking to win a third consecutive multi-game bilateral Test series against Pakistan.
- Pakistan are winless in their past 10 Tests outside their own country (D2, L8). However, their last such victory did come against New Zealand, by an innings and 16 runs (November 2018 in Dubai).
- Tom Latham has scored 579 Test runs at Hagley Oval, 214 more than any other player at the venue and his second most at any ground in the format (696 at Basin Reserve).
- Ross Taylor is 13 away from becoming just the fifth player to score 1,000 runs in Tests between New Zealand and Pakistan. He would be only the second Kiwi to achieve the feat (after Williamson).
- Tim Southee has a bowling average of 19.9 in Tests at Hagley Oval, his best at any home venue. He has picked up five or more wickets in six of his seven appearances at the venue.

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