South Africa have made a confident start despite losing two early wickets in their first Test in Pakistan in more than 13 years on Tuesday.
Opener Dean Elgar was unbeaten on 46 with seven fours and former skipper Faf du Plessis was not out on 14 as the tourists reached 2-94 at lunch on the first day of the first Test.
Proteas skipper Quinton de Kock won the all-important toss Tuesday, and both teams included two specialist spinners in the hope the wicket will assist the spinners.
Aiden Makram (13) took three boundaries in one over of fast bowler Hasan Ali’s comeback Test match as there was hardly any seam movement early on a pitch devoid of grass.
Left-arm fast bowler Shaheen Afridi (1-20) provided the breakthrough when Imran Butt, one of two Pakistan players on Test debut, took a smart diving catch at second slip soon after Makram had smacked Hasan for three fours in his second over.
Rassie van der Dussen (17) looked confident against left-arm spinner Nauman Ali, who is also on debut, but was run out in a mix-up with Elgar.
Van der Dussen ran more than halfway down the wicket after driving straight to Pakistan skipper Babar Azam at mid off and dropped his bat as he tried to return to the striker’s end, but fell way short of his crease.
Du Plessis and Elgar used their feet well against spinners Yasir Shah and Nauman, with Pakistan’s bowlers struggling to contain the runs.
Pakistan umpire Aleem Dar, who has officiated on-field in the most international games (391), was supervising his first Test in Pakistan since making his debut in 2000.
Dar got his first opportunity at home after the International Cricket Council allowed the appointment of local match officials for international matches because of travel restrictions in place for the COVID-19 pandemic.