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Pakistan rallies to reach 104-4 in 1st test vs South Africa

Pakistan rallied through Azhar Ali and Fawad Alam to reach 104-4 at lunch on day two of the first cricket test against South Africa on Wednesday.

South Africa lost two lbw referrals against Azhar and Alam was dropped late in the first session. much to the frustration for the visitors as Pakistan now trails by 116 runs.

Alam, who scored his first test century since 2009 in a match New Zealand in January, was batting on 39. Azhar was unbeaten on 38.

Pakistan's batsman Azhar Ali, front, plays a shot while South Africa's Quinton de Kock watches during the second day of the first cricket test match between Pakistan and South Africa at the National Stadium, in Karachi, Pakistan, Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2021. (AP PhotoAnjum Naveed)

South Africa, playing its first test in Pakistan in more than 13 years, was bowled out for 220 on the first day which saw 14 wickets fall on an uneven wicket, giving assistance to the spinners from the outset.

South Africa lost its first of the three television reviews in fast bowler Andrich Nortje's first over when replays showed the ball had hit the batsman’s pads outside the off stump.

Azhar got second reprieve on 29 in left-arm spinner George Linde’s first over when South Africa used its second television referral on an lbw decision but failed to have it overturned.

Pakistan's batsman Azhar Ali, front, avoids a ball while South Africa's Faf du Plessis watches during the second day of the first cricket test match between Pakistan and South Africa at the National Stadium, in Karachi, Pakistan, Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2021. (AP PhotoAnjum Naveed)

In the next over, Dean Elgar dropped a low catch in the lone slip off Maharaj when Alam was on 35.

Otherwise, both batsmen showed good temperament and kept the three South African seamers and the two spinners at bay, hitting five boundaries between them in the morning session after Pakistan resumed day two on 33-4.

Kagiso Rabada, who needs one more wicket to complete 200 wickets in test matches, bowled a six-over spell without producing another breakthrough.

Pakistan's batsmen Azhar Ali, front, and Fawad Alam run between the wickets during the second day of the first cricket test match between Pakistan and South Africa at the National Stadium, in Karachi, Pakistan, Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2021. (AP PhotoAnjum Naveed)

Rabada had pegged Pakistan back to 27-4 late on the first day by removing both openers and Pakistan also lost its premier batsman — captain Babar Azam, who was adjudged lbw to left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj.

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