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Beating South Africa is a much-needed boost: Misbah-ul Haq

Wily spinner Saeed Ajmal took four wickets to fire Pakistan to a seven-wicket win over world number ones South Africa in the first Test here yesterday.

Pakistan players
Pakistan players celebrate a South Africa wicket in Abu Dhabi yesterday. Pic/AFP

The off-spinner (4-74) was superbly supported by left-arm paceman Junaid Khan (3-57) and fellow spinner Zulfiqar Babar (2-51) as South Africa collapsed to 232 in their second innings on the fourth day at Sheikh Zayed Stadium.

That left Pakistan to score 40 runs for their overall fourth win over South Africa and take a 1-0 lead in the two-match series. Pakistan made heavy weather of the small target losing openers Shan Masood (nought), Azhar Ali (three) and Khurram Manzoor (four) in the space of seven runs by the fourth over.

Vernon Philander took 2-11 while Dale Steyn had 1-7. Misbah-ul Haq (28) and Younis Khan (nine) were left to see off the target with the Pakistan captain deservedly hitting the winning six.

“It’s really unbelievable and a much-needed win for us,” said Misbah, whose team lost to minnows Zimbabwe in their last Test in September. “It was a team effort and everyone contributed, especially the youngsters.

“Both openers and Zulfiqar Babar, they really did a tremendous job for us. I think everyone chipped in, especially with the bowling.”

It was AB de Villiers who hit a fighting 90 to help South Africa avoid an innings defeat while Robin Peterson scored a valiant 47 not out but it only delayed Pakistan’s win.

Fourth win over SA
This is Pakistan’s fourth win over South Africa in 22 Tests and also broke South Africa’s unbeaten 15-Test run since losing to Sri Lanka at Durban in December 2011. 

De Villiers added an invaluable 57 for the eighth wicket with Petersen to carry the match into the final session.

Scorecard

South Africa Ist innings 249 Pakistan Ist innings 442
South Africa 2nd innings

G Smith st Akmal b Ajmal 32
A Petersen c Akmal b Irfan 17
Hashim Amla c Akmal b Babar 10
J Kallis lbw b Khan 0
AB de Villiers c Masood b Khan 90
D Steyn b Babar 7
JP Duminy lbw b Khan 0
F du Plessis c and b Ajmal 9
R Peterson not out. 47
V Philander c Akmal b Ajmal 10
M Morkel c and b Ajmal 0
Extras (b4, lb4, nb2) 10
Total (all out, 82.4 overs) 232
Fall of wickets: 1-38, 2-57, 3-58, 4-72, 5-104, 6-109, 7-133, 8-190, 9-232
Bowling:
Mohammad Irfan 13-1-42-1 (nb2),
Junaid Khan 18-1-57-3,
Saeed Ajmal 32.4-7-74-4,
Zulfiqar Babar 19-6-51-2

Pakistan
K Manzoor c de Villiers b Philander 4
Shan Masood c de Villiers b Philander 0
Azhar Ali c Kallis b Steyn 3
Younis Khan not out 9
Misbah-ul Haq not out 28
Extras (lb1) 1
Total (3 wkts, 13.5 overs) 45
Fall of wickets: 1-4, 2-7, 3-7
Bowling:
Dale Steyn 5-3-7-1,
Vernon Philander 5-1-11-2,
Morne Morkel 2-0-12-0,
Robin Peterson 1.5-0-14-0
Pakistan won by 7 wickets 

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