On the second day of the opening Test against South Africa, Fawad Alam and Faheem Ashraf played knocks of 109 and 64 respectively as Pakistan gained firm control over proceedings at the National Stadium here on Wednesday.

Pakistan’s score read 308/8 at stumps on day two with Hasan Ali (11*) and Nauman Ali (6*) still at the crease. With two wickets in the bag, the hosts have extended their lead to 88 over the Proteas. Azhar Ali and Alam, resuming day two on 33/4, accurately negated the first session. The Proteas bowlers were held at bay by both hitters, and they did not play a reckless shot on a pitch that began to misbehave from the second day on. In the first session, the duo scored 71 runs, taking the score to 104/4, with Ali and Alam unbeaten on 38 and 39 respectively.

Both Ali and Alam started from where they left in the second session, and the course of play also saw Ali record his half-century. But Ali (51) was dismissed by Keshav Maharaj soon after hitting the milestone and this ended the 94-run stand between the two batters, reducing Pakistan to 121/5. In the center, Mohammad Rizwan then joined Alam and the duo made sure Pakistan did not lose wickets in a cluster.

South Africa, however, got the wicket of Rizwan (33) right on the cusp of the tea break, after Lungi Ngidi rose to the occasion. This wicket ended Rizwan’s 55-run stand with Alam. Pakistan’s score was 178/6 at the tea interval, only trailing Protea by 42 runs.

Alam started from where he left off in the final session and he went on to post a century and Pakistan went on to take the lead in the first innings with this effort. In Ashraf, Alam sought help and the two batters took total charge of the proceedings. Both batters stretched their partnership to 102 runs, but Lungi Ngidi dismissed Alam with half an hour of play remaining in the day (109). Anrich Nortje cleaned up Ashraf (64) before stumps, but in the end, Hasan Ali and Nauman Ali held ground to frustrate the bowlers of the Proteas. 

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