Karachi- Pakistan cricketing legend Inzamam-ul-Haq credited the partnership between Fawad Alam and Azhar Ali for Green Caps’ seven-wicket victory over South Africa in the first Test in Karachi.
The duo put on a crucial 94-run stand on the fifth-wicket to settle the side when they were reeling at 33-4 in their first innings in reply to Proteas’ 220 all out. It helped the side take control of the fixture and eventually win the series opener by seven wickets.
The former skipper and chief selector, while speaking with the Pakistan Cricket Board, believes the batting duo’s stand managed to get the side going even when the conditions were unfavourable.
“It wasn’t easy on the track to play where there was uneven bounce and lack of movement for the fast-bowlers,” the 50-year-old said in the video. “However, the batsmen especially Fawad Alam who scored a brilliant century and put on a partnership with Azhar Ali which I believe was the turning point in the game.”
The Multan-born cricketer added that the pitches were difficult to play on but the hosts managed to perform well under tricky conditions.
“The hosts performed very well throughout under the home conditions and everyone would want them to keep performing the same way. The 30-40 per cent of the series opener was going to be decided on the toss. They lost the toss but bowled well on the back of good performances. If you take a look at the first day’s play, we were struggling at 33-4 and it seemed as if the side would be bowled out for 150 but their comeback has to be appreciated,” he said.
While heaping praise on debutant Nauman Ali, he said that the left-arm spinner took advantage of his experience in first-class cricket.
“Although it was his debut, we can call him an experienced campaigner because he has played plenty of domestic games in which he has given solid performances. Despite taking just two wickets in the first innings, he was consistent with his line in the rest of the game and didn’t concede runs. This reflects he has the know-how.”
The second and final Test between Pakistan and South Africa will be contested on February 4 in Rawalpindi.