Rain abandons Day one play after Babar, Fawad lead Pakistan’s recovery


Rawalpindi: Heavy rain abandoned play on the opening day of the second Test between Pakistan and South Africa at Pindi Cricket Stadium.

The rain started as players walked off the field at the tea break. Groundsmen quickly placed the covers on the pitch and adjoining area. The umpire decided to call-off the day while Day two will start early at 9.45 pm.

Meanwhile, Skipper Babar Azam and in-form Fawad Alam led Pakistan’s recovery, taking Pakistan to 145-3 from an uncertain situation of 22/3.

Spinner Keshav Maharaj (2-51) and pacer Anrich Nortje (1-30) had left Pakistan struggling on 63-3 at lunch but Babar and Fawad put 123 for the fourth-wicket stand to steady the innings.

Read: Last outing for Quinton de Kock as South Africa’s Test captain

Babar brought up his first fifty as Test captain. In his ongoing 77-run knock, he hit 12 fours while Fawad is at 42 with five fours.

Earlier, Imran Butt (15), Azhar Ali (0) and Abid Ali (6) were removed for one run in the space of 23 balls.

Maharaj was brought into the attack in the seventh over and started to create chances. The left-arm spinner removed Imran as Proteas captain Quinton de Kock claimed a sharp catch behind the wicket.

Maharaj then trapped Azhar leg-before in his following over. Abid Ali went back courtesy off a brilliant catch by Aiden Markram at short-leg off Nortje.

Note, Babar won the toss and decided to bat first. The home side is unchanged while South Africa replace Lungi Ngidi with Wiaan Mulder.

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

Read more: South Africa management provides update on George Linde’s injury