Fawad Alam scored a fantastic century as Pakistan took control of proceedings on day two of the first Test against the Proteas in Karachi.
A clinical batting performance, which yielded three partnerships worthy of more than 50 runs, guided Pakistan to 308-8 at stumps.
The hosts were desperate for a good performance with the bat, having fallen to 33-4 at stumps on Monday.
Azar Ali and Alam were the men responsible to see out of the first hour of play on Tuesday, with the hopes of leading Pakistan’s recovery with the bat.
The pair played with great character and concentration to guide their team to lunch without losing a wicket in the morning session.
Both Ali and Alam brought up their respective half-centuries in the process before the former became the first wicket to fall in the day.
Keshav Maharaj made the all-important breakthrough by finding the edge of Ali’s bat, caught behind by Quinton de Kock for 51.
De Kock, however, was at fault for wasting the Proteas’ reviews with two poor decisions to contest calls that were given not out by the umpire.
Mohammed Rizwan played a couple of decent shots but he was brilliantly caught by Faf du Plessis for 31 off a Lungi Ngidi delivery, shortly before tea.
Alam received handy assistance from Faheem Ashraf as they began to frustrate the Proteas bowlers in the final session of the day.
🏏 DAY 2 | HARD WORK
The bowlers have been putting in plenty of hard work as Pakistan takes a 22-run lead
🇵🇰 Pakistan 242/6 after 90 overs
— Cricket South Africa (@OfficialCSA) January 27, 2021
Pakistan were scoring freely, with Alam bringing up his third Test century at the great delight of his teammates in the stands.
He would eventually depart for 109, though, flicking one straight to Temba Bavuma to gift Ngidi his second scalp of the innings.
Ashraf kicked on and reached a half-century of his own with a couple of aggressive shots. Despite using the new ball late in the day, desperation began to hamstring the Proteas’ plans, while Aiden Markram was given a short stint with the ball, which yielded three unsuccessful overs.
Anrich Nortje made another important breakthrough shortly before the close of play by knocking over Ashraf for 64.
Hasan Ali (11) and Nauman Ali (6) will resume Pakistan’s innings on Thursday with a lead of 88 runs.
Pakistan: Imran Butt, Abid Ali, Azhar Ali, Babar Azam (c), Fawad Alam, Mohammed Rizwan (wk), Faheem Ashraf, Shaheen Afridi, Hasan Ali, Nauman Ali, Yasir Shah.
Proteas: Dean Elgar, Aiden Markram, Rassie van der Dussen, Faf du Plessis, Quinton de Kock (c; wk), Temba Bavuma, George Linde, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Lungi Ngidi.