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Stumps: Pakistan 143 for three on Day 1 of Pindi Test

Pakistan captain Babar Azam and Fawad Alam rescued the hosts with an unbeaten century stand to take them to 145-3 at the close of a rain-shortened first day of the second Test with South Africa in Rawalpindi on Thursday.

Azam was batting on 77, having so far put on 123 for the fourth wicket with Alam (42 not out) to frustrate the tourists.

South Africa made inroads into the Pakistan top order when they reduced the home team to 22-3, with left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj (2-51) striking 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 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 Azam and Alam then set about restoring the innings as the wicket lost some of its early morning zip. 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.

Rain started to fall as the players went off for tea, with the entire final session lost.

Pakistan are 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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