PAK v SA 2021: Hasan Ali says even 200 could be a defendable target in the fourth innings of Rawalpindi Test

Hasan Ali picked a five-wicket haul in the first innings
Hasan Ali picked a five-wicket haul in the first innings

Hasan Ali believes even a 200-run target will be difficult for South Africa to chase on the fourth-day pitch of the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium. Pakistan has a 200-run lead in the second innings heading into the penultimate day of this Test. Hasan Ali and Mohammad Rizwan will start as the overnight batsmen on Day 4.

Talking to the reporters virtually after Day 3's play, Hasan Ali gave his views on what could be a good target for the South African cricket team. None of the two sides have scored more than 300 on this pitch. Pakistan managed 272 runs in the first innings. In reply, South Africa aggregated 201 runs, conceding a 71-run lead.

The visitors took wickets at regular intervals to restrict Pakistan to 129/6 in 51 overs. When asked about the ideal target for South Africa, Hasan Ali replied:

“Even 200 runs is not easy on this track especially considering how our spinners dominated in the last match. Our fast-bowlers are also taking wickets. We will try to get as many runs as possible so that there is no pressure on our bowlers. We will try to go past the score of 240-250."

George Linde and Keshav Maharaj have been very successful in the second innings. The South African spinners have scalped five wickets in 30 overs, which shows the pitch has assisted the spin bowlers of late. Pakistan has the likes of Yasir Shah and Nauman Ali in its spin attack.

I love the longer format of the game: Hasan Ali

Hasan Ali starred for Pakistan in the first innings
Hasan Ali starred for Pakistan in the first innings

Hasan Ali has not played much red-ball cricket for Pakistan. He had only one five-wicket haul to his name heading into the series against South Africa. However, Ali took his tally to two by dismissing Dean Elgar, Rassie van der Dussen, George Linde, Keshav Maharaj, and Anrich Nortje in the first innings. Reacting to his performance after the day's play, Hasan said:

“I always had a dream to become test cricketer because I love the longer format of the game. I told selection committee that I'm available to play all three formats. I believe ups and downs are part of sportsman's life but one should live every moment happily."

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Edited by Prem Deshpande
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