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Pakistan captain Babar Azam and Fawad Alam rescued the hosts from early trouble with an unbeaten century stand before rain washed out the final session on the first day of the second Test with South Africa in Rawalpindi on Thursday.


Pakistan were 145 for three at the end of play on Day 1 after Babar Azam won the toss and opted to bat first against South Africa. Currently, Babar is unbeaten on 77, has so far added 123 runs for the fourth wicket with Fawad (42 unbeaten) to frustrate the tourists.


South Africa had made inroads into the Pakistan top order when they reduced the home team to 22 for three, with left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj (2-51) striking early with the new ball. He had opener Imran Butt (15) caught by wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock when the batsman tried to steer a delivery to the third man, before trapping the dangerous Azhar Ali leg before wicket for a duck.


Seamer Anrich Nortje picked up the third wicket as Aiden Markram took a superb one-handed diving catch at short leg to dismiss Abid Ali (6). But Babar and Fawad then set about restoring the innings as the wicket lost some of its early morning venoms. South Africa’s second spinner George Linde was forced off after just 2.5 overs with a laceration to the small finger on his left hand.


Scans revealed no fracture but Linde is likely to be impeded for the rest of the test, which will be a blow for the visitors.


The rain started to fall as the players went off for tea, with the entire final session lost. Pakistan were unchanged from their seven-wicket first test win, while South Africa included all-rounder Wiaan Mulder in the place of Lungi Ngidi.

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