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Fawad Alam slams century to lead Pakistan revival vs SA

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Karachi, Jan 27 (IANS) Left-handed batsman Fawad Alam scored his third Test century and the second after being recalled to the Test side after a gap of 11 years as Pakistan staged a revival in the first Test against South Africa. The hosts are 88 runs ahead and still have two wickets in hand.

At stumps of the second day, Pakistan were 308 for eight in response to South Africa’s 220 in the first innings.

The veteran Karachiite played a key hand in the hosts’ revival with a fine 109 (245 balls, 9 fours, 2 sixes).

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Good contributions also came from Azhar Ali (51 off 151 balls, 4 fours) and Faheem Ashraf (64 off 84 balls, 9 fours).

Having showed so much of promise with the ball on the opening evening when they claimed four wickets, the Mark Boucher-coached side would have been hugely disappointed not to have kicked on early on the second morning.

But to their credit, the Pakistanis batted with caution initially as Ashraf and Ali lifted them from 33 for four at the start to 121 before the next wicket fell — the latter edging Keshav Maharaj (2/71) behind to Quinton de Kock to end a 94-run stand.

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The arrival of Mohammad Rizwan (33) then seemed to get the home side going as 55 were added for the sixth wicket by the pair.

Lungi Ngidi (2/55) broke that partnership to give Proteas hope again. However, they were then punished by a more fluent seventh-wicket partnership of 102 between Alam and Ashraf, a stand in which the former went to his century with a straight six off Maharaj to spark deserved celebrations.

Although both Alam and Ashraf did eventually fall, Hasan Ali (11), frustratingly dismissed by a Maharaj no-ball before the close, and Nauman Ali (6) took Pakistan to stumps in the driving.

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Brief scores: South Africa 220 vs Pakistan 308/8 in 107 overs (F Alam 109, F Ashraf 64, A Ali 51; M Rizwan 33, K Rabada 2/45, L Ngidi 2/55, K Maharaj 2/71, A Nortje 2/84)

–IANS

km/rkm

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