South Africa in Pakistan, 2 Test Series, 2021
Venue: Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium, Rawalpindi
Date: 04 February-08 February, 2021
RR: 2.99 | Pakistan beat South Africa by 95 runs
That's all from this game and the series! Babar Azam lifts the cup and is applauded by his teammates. They pose for a photo as the winners. South Africa had a tough time and they will be very disappointed with their effort. Now we move on to the three-match T20 series which begins on 11th February 2021 at 1530 local (1030 GMT). Till then, cheers and take care.
Victorious Pakistan skipper, Babar Azam, thanks the almighty and then the South African team, for helping international cricket resume in Pakistan. On captaincy pressure, Azam shrugs it off, as he says that when you get a good team, you don't have to do much as a captain. On giving South Africa their own medicine, beating them by pace, he praises Shaheen Afridi and Hasan Ali who used the reverse swing exceptionally well. Puts the improvement in fielding to the mixture of youth and experience in the team, detailing that the management is paying attention to everything. To come back in this manner after losing in New Zealand, Babar says that the team was always confident. Praises Aiden Markram and Temba Bavuma who made it difficult for them but then lauds his own fast bowling unit for changing things around quickly with the second new ball.
South African skipper, Quinton de Kock, admits that the first-innings lead played a big role in this defeat. Rues his team missing big moments. Praises George Linde for bowling his heart out, in spite of a broken finger. Agrees that it is hard to accept this disappointment but stresses that they will learn from this and work on how to go forward. On Aiden Markram's form, de Kock says that he never had a doubt on him performing, looking at his credentials in Asia and hopes that he maintains this consistency.
MOHAMMAD RIZWAN HAS BEEN NAMED THE PLAYER OF THE SERIES. Rizwan thanks the almighty for this award. Puts his success to the clear planning by the management and coaching staff, who made his role clear. On his keeping adjustments, coming in from New Zealand, he gives credit to his personal coach who helped him do the little things better. On his batting form, Rizwan says that mostly he comes on to bat under pressure conditions but leaves it to the almighty. On his sledging behind the stumps, Rizwan smiles and says that because of the stump mic, he is not in a position to say much but then quickly adds that he does not cross the line.
HASAN ALI HAS BEEN BEEN NAMED THE PLAYER OF THE MATCH. Hasan says that he is over the moon, citing this as a comeback series for him. Stresses that everyone wishes a dream comeback and he wished no less. Is happy to get that. Puts it down to confidence, the stress to be consistent in lines and lengths. Admits that fitness was an issue in the past but is fitter now. Agrees that playing a lot of first-class matches has helped him.
Quite a few awards being given - even in domestic cricket. Among the notable ones, Mohammad Rizwan gets the Player Of The Year award, in the previous season.
Stay tuned for the presentation ceremony!
So a quick recap then! After opting to bat first, the hosts had a tough time with the bat as they posted just 272. They would not have reached there as well if not for Faheem Ashraf who scored a fine 78. Babar Azam too scored 77. It did not look enough at one stage but Pakistan bowlers responded in a fine manner as they dismissed South Africa for just 201 with Hasan Ali's 5-fer dominating the show. South Africa got starts in that innings but no one was able to continue big. The hosts, in their second innings, rode on Mohammad Rizwan's century to help them gain a lead of 369 which looked good. South Africa in response had started well and at one stage, they looked on course to overhaul the score with Aiden Markram and Temba Bavuma going strong but it was not to be as they lost wickets in a heap and eventually lost by 95 runs.
South Africa had a great chance of levelling the series at the start of Day 5. They did lose Rassie van der Dussen and Faf du Plessis very early on but Temba Bavuma and Aiden Markram played well and took them to Lunch without any further loss of wickets. They needed more 151 to win post Lunch with 7 wickets in hand and they might have felt that they had a chance but what happened thereafter was chaos. Pakistan took the second new ball and as has been the case so often, the Proteas collapsed and they lost their last 7 wickets for 33 runs. In the end, it was a disappointing performance. Markram will be gutted. Not because his century went in vain more so because it was his rash shot which started the collapse.
Pakistan started the day well with Hasan Ali picking up Rassie van der Dussen and Faf du Plessis in quick succession but there was nothing much after that as Aiden Markram and Temba Bavuma kept them at bay. Post Lunch, they came out all guns blazing as they took the second new ball and from there onwards it was mayhem. Hasan Ali sent back Aiden Markram and Quinton de Kock in back-to-back balls and there was no looking back for them. Hasan Ali ended up with a 5-fer while Shaheen took 4 wickets in the end to help Pakistan achieve a victory.
Pakistan have done it! They have won the series 2-0 and it has been a brilliant win for them! With this, they also get their first Test series win over South Africa since 2003. Post-Lunch, South Africa started well but the second new Ball did the trick as the wickets fell in a heap and Pakistan eventually won by 95 runs. South Africa will be disappointed as they faced another collapse like they have done all series and will be a very dsiappointed unit. Handshakes all around and it has been a deserving victory for Pakistan.
Yasir Shah is back on.
Anrich Nortje is the last man in.
Kagiso Rabada is the next man in.
Keshav Maharaj comes out to bat.
Review! Is that another one caught behind? Pakistan reckon so. There was a bit of a noise but nothing on Ultra Edge.
DRINKS BREAK. Well, this is happening quickly again, isn't it? We felt that South Africa are much better-placed heading into Lunch. But the first hour after the break has seen 3 wickets fall for 12 runs in 35 balls! The second new ball has done the trick for Pakistan and one reckons, the game is done and dusted now. Of course, the pie is ready as well. In case we are forced to eat it humbly again... George Linde walks out now. How will the finger injury affect his grip on the bat?
The physio is out in the middle for a concussion check. Wiaan looks okay but the next few minutes could be tricky. Could affect his shot-making as well. All set to go now.
Wiaan Mulder comes out to bat.
Quinton de Kock is the next man in.
Hasan Ali is back on. 11-1-46-2 are his numbers so far.
The second new ball is due now and it has been taken. Shaheen Afridi will have the first crack with it. 15-5-33-1 are his figures so far.
Yasir Shah will bowl from the other end.
We are back for the second session of Day 5. The Pakistan players make their way out to the middle, followed by Aiden Markram and Temba Bavuma. Faheem Ashraf will start with the ball.
... Day 5, Session 2 ...
Test cricket is a game of patience. This is what Pakistan need to remind themselves. 151 in two sessions is definitely gettable. But a wicket and a couple more quickly after that is a possibility too. Aiden Markram has given South Africa plenty of hope for a win but that middle order will be tested. 63 overs left in the day. Join us back at 12.40 pm local (0740 GMT) for the second session.
Depending too much on the pitch? Question to be asked to Pakistan. Their confidence would have gone sky high when Hasan Ali struck gold early, that too twice, but since then, one gets the feeling that they have lost patience and want things to happen too soon. The bowling is not bad, but the bad delivery frequently in every couple of overs has been punished. That has not allowed pressure to build for long. Yasir Shah and Hasan Ali have impressed in that, while the others are trying too hard.
Stunning. Absolutely stunning. To describe two things. Aiden Markram's century and his partnership with Temba Bavuma. South Africa lost 2 wickets in 29 balls this morning. Have not lost any in 169 balls since. And they have also eaten out 84 runs off the target. Pakistan would have been dreaming of rushing through the middle order but this pair has held firm. Both have been decisive in their footwork and hardly given any chance. They have defended well but attacked the poorer balls too.
Well, well, well. We are forced to eat our words. 'Highly unlikely that South Africa will go after the win, which means that the tie is ruled out as well. Pakistan have been on the money and will be looking for a finish before Tea.' These were our words during the Drinks break. Have to eat humble pie now.
Interesting. Fawad Alam is given the ball. Last over before Lunch. Can Markam get to this century before the break?
Hasan Ali returns. 9-1-43-2 so far. 15 minutes to go for Lunch.
Nauman Ali is back on. 17-6-49-0 so far.
Babar Azam is going off the field. Looks like for a chat, because coach Misbah-ul-Haq is waiting at the balcony to greet him.
Faheem Ashraf to bowl now. 3-1-13-0 so far.
DRINKS BREAK. Well, two wickets quickly this morning have eliminated two results out of the possible four. Highly unlikely that South Africa will go after the win, which means that the tie is ruled out as well. Pakistan have been on the money and will be looking for a finish before Tea. The Proteas will look to survive but batting looks very, very tough and there isn't much of it in their unit to follow.
Change of ends for Shaheen Afridi. 11-4-23-1 so far.
Yasir Shah comes on now. 11-3-21-0 so far.
Shaheen Afridi returns. 10-4-22-1 so far.
Thing happening quickly! Temba Bavuma comes out in the 5th over of the morning.
Have Pakistan got another? Well, the umpire has given it out LBW but Faf reviews. Looks dead if no bat.
We are all set for the day's action to begin! The Pakistan players are on the field. Markram and Rassie now stride to the centre. Hasan Ali to start off proceedings. Here we go...
Hello and welcome to the coverage of Day 5 of the second and the last Test of the series between Pakistan and South Africa! The equation is quite simple for today, South Africa need 243 runs and Pakistan need 9 wickets. Yes, a draw is also possible but that result seems the least likeliest. Also, the visitors have to go for the target as this is a must win game for them. They would hope the two batting, the two well-set batters keep going and reduce the deficit as much as possible. Pakistan's first aim will be to break this stand first. The wicket did play well yesterday, interesting to see how it plays today. A mouth-watering finish awaits. Stay tuned.
... Day 5, Session 1 ...
How does Day 5 look then? 243 runs needed. 98 overs to be bowled. 9 wickets in hand. South Africa will believe they are in good shape but Pakistan will also believe that one wicket can open the floodgates. The middle order has not quite been performing this series. Join us then at 9.45 am local (0445 GMT) for all the action from the final day of the series. ADIOS! TAKE CARE!
Pakistan will be disappointed. They bowled a bit too many loose balls at the start and conceded way too many boundaries. Half the balls were either too overpitched or down the leg side. Nauman Ali was attacked, not being allowed to settle down while Yasir Shah did not quite get enough time to weave his magic. But the pacers were disappointing.
Magnanimous fightback from South Africa. They have shown tremendous grit and application, with Aiden Markram leading the way and Rassie van der Dussen following suit. The unbeaten 94-run stand has given the visitors immense belief that they can make a fist of the target of 370 set in front of them.
The umpires get together for a chat. They are not too happy with the light and one of them takes the bails off. That will be it, then. STUMPS ON DAY 4, with results possible - all four!
Nauman Ali comes back for one final spell of the day. 11-3-35-0 so far.
Gully brought in now.
The floodlights are being switched on. Still not that dark yet, as it was on the previous two days.
Shaheen Afridi is back on. 6-2-14-1 so far.
Faheem Ashraf is introduced.
DRINKS BREAK. Fabulous fight shown by South Africa. They are looking to play this hour by hour, not quite aiming at the target. The good thing is that they are rattling along at nearly 4 an over but hardly have we seen risky shots, save aside a couple. 19 boundaries have come so far, of which 2 have been sixes. 20 overs left in the day. Hard to see all of those being bowled, with just 70 extended minutes remaining. Also, bad light is around the corner, normally with the light fading round 5 pm local everyday. Pakistan just need to be patient. It could be looking tough right now, but get a new batsman in and they shall see.
Yasir Shah into the attack now. Let's see how it goes.
WEST INDIES PULL OF A STUNNER! Wow. What a chase. In Chattogram, chasing an unlikely 395 for victory, the visitors have pulled it off, losing 7 wickets in the process. They had 2 wicketless sessions on Day 5 and Kyle Mayers led them home with a magnificent unbeaten 210. Chasing down nearly 400, that too in the fourth innings of a Day 4 and 5 pitch in Asia. Hats off!
Welcome back. The players are out on the field. It will be Afridi to van der Dussen first up.
... FINAL SESSION, DAY 4 ...
Pakistan may not be too worried. They have already got one wicket and the pitch is playing a lot of tricks. They are just waiting for the ball to get a bit old and then unleash Yasir Shah. 36 overs left in the day. How many wickets can Pakistan get and how many runs can South Africa add? Join us back at 3.15 pm local (1015 GMT).
Intriguing session. It does appear that South Africa are trying to be positive. They may not be going after 370 but are certainly not looking to defend out for a draw. They have lost Elgar in the process, one man capable of batting for 5 days. But they will be happy with the way they have played so far.
Rassie van der Dussen walks out at number 3, on a pair. Meanwhile, in Chattogram, 39 more needed now for West Indies. Minimum of 75 balls remaining, 5 wickets in hand. Kyle Mayers soldering along on 179.
BAN-WI UPDATE - 48 more needed now for West Indies. Minimum of 80 balls remaining, 5 wickets in hand. Kyle Mayers soldering along on 173.
Wow, that was a close call for Markram.
BAN-WI UPDATE - We are witnessing a thriller of a Test in Chattogram. Chasing 395, West Indies need 55 from a minimum of 87 balls, with 5 wickets in hand! Kyle Mayers is playing a blinder, 167 not out.
Spin is in! Pretty early. Nauman Ali to bowl. He has got a bit of rough outside Elgar's off stump.
A bit of repair going on. Around the bowler's landing area. The hammer comes out.
Hasan Ali to bowl from the other end!