The Proteas visited Pakistan after a long gap of 14 years. The last time they toured Pakistan was in 2007 for One Day and Test series. The hosts faced defeat in both those series. Pakistan had never won a test series from South Africa in 17 years, and now it was time to take revenge.
South Africa played two Tests, one each at Karachi and Rawalpindi. In the first test Pakistani team was all over the Proteas. Fawad Alam, skipper Babar Azam, all-rounder Fahim Ashraf, wicketkeeper-batsman Muhammad Rizwan, leggie Yasir Shah, and debutant Nauman Ali – all showed advantages of playing in home conditions. The team gave an all-round performance and won the test match easily – so easily it was seen as a one-sided game.
The second test match was played in the Rawalpindi cricket stadium where Pakistan won the toss and elected to bat first. Wickets fell early on in the game, after which middle order batmen Fawad Alam and Babar Azam indulged themselves in a partnership. They took the responsibility and took the team to a respectable total. Fahim joined the fun later on, adding more runs on the board.
The Proteas fell apart in the first innings. Hassan Ali who was making a comeback in this series took a fifer and bowled out the South Africans all by himself. The Shaheens had a lead of 71 runs. The openers and the middle order batsmen could not do much in this innings. M Rizwan played a mature knock alongside the rest of the team. He helped the team by scoring his maiden test century.
In the second innings, the Proteas had to chase a huge target of 370. Day 5 and the tourists were 127-1. They were looking good until Hassan Ali the generator came in action and took two wickets straightaway. Aiden Markam scored his fifth test ton and first against Pakistan, alongside Temba Bavuma who scored 61 runs.
At one point, the tourists seemed to have the upper hand of the game but then the second new ball arrived. Hassan Ali took 2 consecutive wickets of Aiden Markam and the out of form skipper De Kock. Hassan Ali took 10 wickets in the game and his bowling partner Shaheen took 4 in the second innings. Yasir Shah took his first wicket in the second innings which was of Wiaan Mulder.
Seventeen years of wait and Pakistan won the test series 2-0. As they say, revenge is a dish best served cold.