Pakistan v SA, 1st Test, Abu Dhabi, 4th day October 17, 2013

Pakistan wrap up huge upset


Pakistan 442 (Manzoor 146, Misbah 100) and 45 for 3 beat South Africa 249 (Amla 118, Irfan 3-44) and 232 (de Villiers 90, Ajmal 4-74) by seven wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

The word 'unpredictable' has often been used to describe Pakistan sides over the decades. A month after the gloom in Harare, with questions hanging over their batting capabilities in Test cricket, they nearly beat the world's No.1 Test side by an innings in Abu Dhabi.

Pakistan took the six remaining wickets on the fourth day to bundle out South Africa for 232, a total lower than their below par first-innings effort, and set themselves a target of 40. They still managed a wobble, though, by losing three wickets for seven runs, but the old hands of Misbah-ul-Haq and Younis Khan secured Pakistan's fourth consecutive win against a No. 1 team in the UAE.

Pakistan's winning sequence at their adopted home began when they routed England 3-0 in 2011-12. The ICC Test Championship mace had since changed hands from England to South Africa and the holders appeared rusty after several months of long-format inactivity. Pakistan capitalised on that by dismissing them for 249 before their batsmen found form to take a massive first-innings lead of 193.

Pakistan had strengthened their hold on the Test at the end of the third day by claiming four second-innings wickets, including that of South Africa's best batsman and first-innings centurion, Hashim Amla. On the fourth day, they didn't allow South Africa's deep batting order to develop substantial partnerships either. They had to put with a defiant fifty from AB de Villiers, but his battle was a lonely one. South Africa managed only one half-century stand on the fourth day and the best they could do was stretch the game into the final session.

South Africa had resumed with a defensive mindset on a pitch that was assisting spin, still trailing by 121. Saeed Ajmal was brought on at the start and after five wicketless overs, he was replaced by the debutant left-arm spinner Zulfiqar Babar. For the second time in the innings, Babar struck in the first over of a spell as he beat Dale Steyn in flight and knocked down his off stump. South Africa's first sign of aggression this morning had cost them a wicket.

Duminy had marked his return to Tests with a fifty in the first innings, but his second stint lasted just five balls, and he reviewed his lbw decision to Junaid Khan in vain. De Villiers didn't get too many loose deliveries to put away and with four close catchers around him against the spinner, his defence had to be watertight. He stepped down the track to Babar and found the boundary past cover, before launching the same bowler for a six down the ground to bring up his fifty.

There was no Adelaide-style jailbreak from Faf du Plessis, though, as he fell just after lunch for a dour 9 off 55 balls, caught one-handed by Ajmal during his follow through. Robin Peterson was the only player of batting potential left and he added 57 with de Villiers to all but deny Pakistan an innings win. De Villiers played some elegant shots, punching the seamers through cover and punishing anything short from the spinners. Junaid looked to swing the old ball but strayed on to de Villiers' pads a few times and the batsman tucked them away to fine leg to get close to a century.

He was ten short of the milestone when he spooned Junaid straight to cover. Peterson and Vernon Philander gave South Africa the lead before a double-strike by Ajmal in one over limited it to 39.

South Africa's batsmen may have failed to come to terms with the conditions over two innings, but their bowlers did, albeit too late. The fast bowlers had figured out the right lengths with the new ball and Pakistan's top three obliged by edging behind the wicket, rolling back the months to their struggles in South Africa earlier this year. It should never have come down to this but Pakistan were left relying on Misbah and Younis to see them through. For South Africa, it was their first defeat since the Durban Test against Sri Lanka in December 2011, ending a sequence of 15 undefeated Tests.

Kanishkaa Balachandran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Harmon on October 22, 2013, 8:16 GMT

    @My dear Hash_Tag:

    My coup de grace for you to decisively demolish your arguments, Enjoy :-)

    Ref your comment of October 19, 2013, 19:03 GMT---

    Reg (a): I do not claim my innocence cos I never said I am some saint but yeah I am indeed claiming victim-hood cos like I said, you do have an unnatural & deep grudge against me of which I am a victim.

    Reg (b): How can you attribute what was said by Waugh to McGrath & other bowlers of Waugh's team? Attribute Waugh's statement to him only, you can't say that his bowlers also had the same opinion unless they too had explicitly said so. Thus, you were lying and I caught you :-)

    Reg (c): You never ever rebut me using logic but simply negate whatever I say AND you try to multiply your argument A1 by paraphrasing it as B1 & C1 & then you add lies to it to strengthen it further. Obviously you can neither follow nor keep an argument.

    Reg (d): Thanks for being so dignified & cordial to me here :-p. But insults from me to you? Show me where.

  • Manesh on October 22, 2013, 5:47 GMT

    @Attractivue. Check ranking first kiddo! The difference between the two teams is 38 rating points. Pakistan is not even in 3 digits! Out of 10 up to 4 or 5 can be considered as TOP and rest of them are bottom based on international standards. You can dream that your team will win everything from now onwards and reach at top. But do not forget that other teams too playing test cricket.

  • Harmon on October 21, 2013, 21:41 GMT


    Hey dear what happened now? The moment I asked you to get logical and rebut your my reply to your A+B+C+D+E argument you have vanished. Is it because you do not actually want to indulge in a proper debate with me?

    I am sure you are still following this thread but are unable to produce any logical replies. I still request you to pls come up with a proper rebuttal to my prev reply to you. I would appreciate it.

    On another thread you gave a hint that Hash_Tag is your secondary profile and you are primarily someone else with whom I had debated a long time back and where you had lost which hurt you and you internalized it. I would ask you to be brave & use your original profile to debate with me provided you do want to have an honest, logical, informed, sensible, dignified debate with me & if you are capable of it.

  • Harris on October 21, 2013, 11:15 GMT

    @Fast_Track_Bully, how is number 6 a bottom ranked team? Especially when number 6 is only 2 wins away from number 4?

    You watch kiddo, after the second test Pakistan will be number 4 and only couple of wins from number 2 position!

  • Manesh on October 21, 2013, 10:01 GMT

    A top level team has lost the game to a bottom ranked team - thats the upset. The 2 teams not even within 1 or 2 ranking differences.Pity that pak fan's can't understand that!

  • Sharjeel on October 21, 2013, 10:00 GMT

    I wonder what is heroic in it?

    when pakistan visits africa, they win by an innings and 150+ runs and when pak has won it is just 7 wkts..

    where is the fun in that...

    batting wickets, nothing for pacers, magic for spinners and you are claiming to be the best side!

  • mazhar on October 21, 2013, 7:47 GMT

    author how u called this upset i cant understand...

  • Harris on October 20, 2013, 22:47 GMT

    I don't get it, how is that an upset? Pakistan beat England when they were number 1 about 2 years ago, they have just beaten South Africa when they are number 1.

    It would be an upset if SA or England or Australia can beat Pakistan in UAE. It would be an upset if Pakistan beats SA, England or Australia in their home conditions!

  • Dummy4 on October 20, 2013, 11:51 GMT

    Upset? are you kidding? Pakistan is high standard team and can beat any team anytime.

  • arjun on October 19, 2013, 20:47 GMT

    @ Hash_Tag , your great batsman average 31 in bangladesh and 35 in sri lanka and England. The day Kallis averages 40 plus in every nation he is not even close to word "great". These numbers are fact not your A+B plus something subjective opinion. End of the discussion.