Pakistan notched up a famous victory over South Africa in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. The game was evenly poised heading onto the fifth day where South Africa needed 243 runs with 9 wickets in hand. The overnight batting pair of Aiden Markram and Rassie van der Dussen was expected to carry on the good show. But Dussen was dismissed early in the final day as Hasan Ali bowled one which stayed low and picked timber. Faf Du Plessis departed soon too when he was caught plumb in front by Hasan Ali.
The partnership between Aiden Markram and Temba Bavuma:
Temba Bavuma who walked in to replace Du Plessis formed a commendable partnership with Markram who was going strong at the other end. The pair took the Proteas to 219 at Tea from where they needed just 151 runs having 7 wickets in the kitty. A win seemed a realistic proposition for South Africa. Markram bought up a brilliant century in the process, the fifth of his career. Temba Bavuma too bought up his fifty and was looking in fine touch.
The second new ball does the damage:
South Africa were in with a real chance at 241-3. The only major threat which lay in front of them was the arrival of the second new ball. If they had played out the new ball then they could have primed themselves for glory. But it wasn’t to be. Hasan Ali removed Markram immediately and dislodged the partnership.
It opened the gates for a Pakistani comeback. Pakistan wasn’t going to let off the momentum. Ali dismissed South African captain, Quinton De Kock for a first-ball duck. It was all Pakistan from then on. Bavuma was dismissed by the left-arm pacer, Shaheen Afridi, and thereby all hopes of a South African survival evaporated.
Pakistani pacers were brilliant:
Hasan Ali picked up 5 wickets in the 2nd innings and a match haul of 10 wickets while Shaheen Afridi picked up wickets to trigger the South African collapse. South Africa lost their last 6 wickets for just 33 runs. It was another familial collapse for South Africa who have failed to win anything substantial overseas in the past few years.
Pakistan clean-sweep South Africa to win the series 2-0:
Pakistan wrapped up the series 2-0 and it was captain Babar Azam’s maiden series win as captain. Hasan Ali was rightfully awarded the player of the match while Mohammad Rizwan was conferred the Man of the Series award. The fans will cherish this victory as it was a hard-fought one. It was Pakistan’s first Test series win against the Proteas since October 2003. This makes the win even more memorable.