Pakistan end 17-year drought, clinch series with a 95-run win over South Africa

Pakistan celebrate a famous series win against South Africa.
Pakistan celebrate a famous series win against South Africa.

Pakistan bowlers thwarted a fine fifth-day fightback by South Africa to win the second Test in Rawalpindi by 95 runs.

With the triumph, Pakistan clinched the two-match series 2-0; the hosts had earlier defeated South Africa by seven wickets in the first Test in Karachi. The victory in Rawalpindi marks Pakistan’s first Test series win over the Proteas in over 17 years.

Resuming the day at 127 for 1, chasing a tough target of 370, South Africa were in with a great chance of pushing for a win at 241 for 3. However, they crumbled following Aiden Markram’s dismissal for 108.

South Africa collapsed in Pakistan-style, losing their last seven wickets for 33 runs to fold up for 274 in 91.4 overs. Hasan Ali began Pakistan’s swift march towards victory by sending back Markram with the second new ball, making the centurion edge a good-length ball to Imran Butt at second slip.

Skipper Quinton de Kock was then dismissed first-ball. The left-hander was tempted into a drive outside off-stump but only managed to edge one behind the wickets.

Temba Bavuma was the last hope for South Africa, having batted resolutely for large swathes of Day 5. However, when on 61, Bavuma edged one behind the stumps off Shaheen Shah Afridi, it was only a matter of time before Pakistan would wrap up the win.

George Linde (4), Keshav Maharaj (0) and Kagiso Rabada (0) came and went in no time as Shaheen Shah Afridi and Hasan Ali ran riot. Leg-spinner Yasir Shah completed the formalities when Wiaan Mulder (20) went for a wild slog and was cleaned up.

Aiden Markram’s century in vain as Pakistan reign supreme

The embarrassing end was in stark contrast to South Africa’s fight in the first session. After losing both Rassie van der Dussen (48) and Faf du Plessis (5), both to Hasan Ali, the visitors hit back courtesy a defiant fourth-wicket stand between Markram and Bavuma.

During their 106-run partnership, a South African victory looked possible. Markram was particularly impressive in his 108-run knock which lasted 243 balls and featured 13 fours and three sixes. Bavuma took 125 balls for his 61, hitting six fours.

However, Pakistan knew that with one wicket would bring them right back into the match, which proved to be the case, Hasan Ali (5 for 60) and Shaheen Shah Afridi (4 for 51) were too good for the Proteas.

Hasan Ali, who had picked up 5 for 54 in the first innings, was rightly named the Man of the Match.

Edited by Bhargav
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