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Pakistan’s Glorious Victory Over Top Ranked South Africa

Pakistan's Glorious Victory Over Top Ranked South Africa

Pakistan completed a rare victory over top-ranked South Africa on Thursday after the Proteas were bowled out for 232 at tea on the fourth day of the first cricket Test.

Pakistan, who only needed 40 runs for its first Test win over South Africa in six years after taking a huge 193-run first innings lead, reached the target after the loss of three wickets.

Earlier, A.B. de Villiers made a gritty 90 off 157 balls with seven fours and a six but gave a tame catch in the covers off seamer Junaid Khan while Robin Peterson made an unbeaten 47 before he ran out of partners in South Africa’s otherwise disappointing batting.

Offspinner Saeed Ajmal got 4-74 while Khan ended up with 3-57. Pakistan has won only three Test matches out of the previous 21 against South Africa and the last victory came in 2007 at Port Elizabeth. It was whitewashed by South Africa 3-0 in February.

Resuming at the overnight 72-4, nightwatchman Dale Steyn (7) resisted for 44 more deliveries and took the team’s total to 104 before he finally ran out of patience and was clean bowled by left-arm spinner Zulfiqar Babar (2-51) off his third delivery of the day.

J.P. Duminy looked shaky in his brief stay as seamer Khan had him trapped leg before wicket for zero.

Babar should have had the wicket of Faf du Plessis on 6 before lunch but wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal, who featured in three of the four dismissals on Tuesday afternoon, couldn’t hold on to a thick edge.

De Villiers was the only South African batsman to read the spinners well as he raised his half century with a straight six over Babar’s head besides hitting four boundaries in his half century.

De Villiers was familiar with the pitch at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium as he made his career best unbeaten 278 against Pakistan in the drawn Test in 2010.

But Pakistan struck immediately through Ajmal after lunch when he made a good reflex one-handed low catch off his own bowling before de Villiers departed after putting up an innings-best partnership of 57 with Peterson. South Africa still trailed by 3 runs when de Villiers was dismissed but Peterson and Vernon Philander stretched the lead to 39 by adding 42 for the ninth wicket.

Ajmal got rid of the last two wickets in three balls when he had Philander caught behind and No. 11 Morne Morkel gave the offspinner a simple return catch at the stroke of tea interval.

The second and final Test starts in Dubai from October 23.