Notwithstanding an early loss of three wickets in their second innings, Pakistan chased down their target of 40 runs to complete a comprehensive overall victory against the no.1 test team South Africa on Thursday in the first Test between the two teams at Abu Dhabi.
South Africa were bowled out for 232, leaving Pakistan an easy target of 40 runs for their first test victory against SA since 2011.
As the chase kicked off though, Pakistan’s volatile batting order crumbled away once away with Shan Masood, Khurram Manzoor and Azhar Ali falling to pace and swing for scores of zero, four and three respectively.
Stalwarts Younis Khan and Misbahul Haq then stepped in to stabilise the innings, with the skipper smashing a six to take his team over the finish line in the 14th over.
Earlier, AB de Villiers hit a fighting 90 to help South Africa avoid an innings defeat but South Africa’s innings folded at 232 on the stroke of tea on the fourth day at Sheih Zayed Stadium.
De Villiers added an invaluable 57 for the eighth wicket with Robin Petersen to help South Africa erase the 193-run first innings deficit.
Petersen added 42 for the ninth wicket with Vernon Philander (ten) much to the frustration of the Pakistani bowlers but Saeed Ajmal (4-74) wrapped up the innings by taking the last two wickets.
Peterson finished on 47 not out.
De Villiers hit seven boundaries and a six off 157-balls in a resistance filled innings before he miscued a drive off paceman Junaid Khan with just three to avoid an innings defeat.
Khan finished with 3-57.
Pakistan’s bowlers had grabbed two wickets in the morning session to boost their chances as the pitch offered good turn after South Africa resumed at 72-4, trailing by a big 121 runs.
De Villiers added 57 with Faf du Plessis (nine) before Ajmal removed du Plessis soon after lunch.
Left-arm spinner Zulfiqar Babar (2-51) dismissed nightwatchman Dale Steyn (seven) and then paceman Jinaid Khan removed Jean-Paul Duminy (nought) as South Africa struggled against a spirited bowling attack.
Steyn had frustrated Pakistan in the first hour, playing defensively till the 12th over of the day when Babar was introduced into the attack and with his first delivery bowled the nightwatchman.
Duminy, who hit 57 in South Africa’s first innings of 249, could survive just five deliveries before he was trapped leg-before by Khan, leaving South Africa tottering at 109-6.
De Villiers brought up his 33rd Test half-century with a big six off Babar. He has so far hit four boundaries and six off 106 balls.
The second and final Test will be played in Dubai from October 23.