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Pak vs SA: Babar Azam, Fawad Alam rescue Pakistan after early shocks

Pakistan´s captain Babar Azam (R) plays a shot as South Africa´s wicketkeeper captain Quinton de Kock watches as teammate Dean Elgar reacts during the first day of the second Test cricket match of a two-match series between Pakistan and South Africa at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium in Rawalpindi on February 4, 2021. -AFP 
  • At tea, skipper Babar Azam was unbeaten on 77 with Fawad Alam on 42 not out.

  • Proteas are playing a Test match at the Pindi Cricket Stadium after 24 years.

  • No changes have been made to Pakistan’s 17-player squad from the first Test in Karachi.


Skipper Babar Azam and Fawad Alam rescued Pakistan from early shocks and took the score to 145-3 at tea on the opening day of the second Test in Rawalpindi on Thursday.

At the break, skipper Babar Azam was unbeaten on 77 with Fawad Alam on 42 not out on a flat, brownish Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium pitch.

The added 82 runs without losing any wicket.

Keshav Maharaj, brought into the attack in just the ninth over, had opener Imran Butt caught behind for 15 and then trapped senior batsman Azhar Ali leg-before for nought in his next over.

Paceman Anrich Nortje then produced a sharp rising delivery to Abid Ali (six) whose fended push was caught smartly at short-leg by Aiden Markram.

Azam looked in better touch after managing just seven and 30 in the first Test.

Pakistan leads the two-match series 1-0 after winning the first Test in Karachi by seven wickets.

After winning the toss, the green shirts have decided to bat first in the second Test against Proteas.

Proteas is playing a Test match at the Pindi Cricket Stadium after 24 years.

Speaking to media after the toss,  Pakistani captain Babar Azam said:  “The wicket is looking good for batting. We will try to score well.”

No changes have been made to Pakistan’s 17-player squad from the first Test in Karachi.

On the other hand, the South African captain said the wicket is a bit grassy which will initially help the bowlers.

Both teams arrived at the Pindi Stadium from a private hotel with strict security arrangements in place earlier in the day. The match is scheduled to start at 10 am. 

Given the traffic disruptions and security protocols, the metro bus service in the twin cities was suspended during the teams’ travel to the hotel.

According to the administration, it has been decided to close the metro bus service between Islamabad and Pindi at certain times due to the test match.

The bus service operation will be suspended from 8:30 am to 10 am today, while the bus service will also be suspended from 5:30 pm to 7 pm.

According to the Metro Bus administration, the Metro Bus will run as usual at other times, however, Shamsabad station will remain completely closed all day.

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