South Africa cricket team are touring Pakistan after 14 years. The last time they toured was back in 2007, where the visitors played 2 Test matches and 5 One Day Internationals. South Africa won both the series. They won the Test series 1-0 and One Day Internationals 3-2.
Now with the Proteas coming back to Pakistan after 14 long years for a series of 2 Test matches and 3 Twenty20 Internationals, let’s take a look back at some of the top 5 moments in Test cricket for Pakistan against South Africa.
1. Azhar Mahmood’s series to remember
Pakistan tour of South Africa, 1998
Perhaps Pakistan’s greatest Test series in South Africa. They played 3 Test match series which were followed by a tri-series that included the Sri Lankan side. The Test series was drawn 1-1. But the player of the series was the all-rounder Azhar Mahmood. He was the leading run-scorer with 327 runs at an average of 65.40 including two centuries. Both of his centuries helped Pakistan.
In the first Test, his 136 helped Pakistan recovered from 112-5 to 329. The match was ended in a draw as the rain took over from days 4 and 5. Then in the second Test, Azhar again scored a century. This time, his 132 came in a greater cause for Pakistan. Struggling at 153-8, Azhar took the charge and took Pakistan to 259. Pakistan won the match by 29 runs.
Azhar’s 132 was listed as the 8th greatest Test innings of all time by the Wisden in Wisden’s top 100.
2. Inzamam’s last Test series
South Africa tour of Pakistan, 2007
This was the last time where South Africa tour Pakistan. It was also Pakistan’s great Inzamam ul-Haq’s last Test series before he pulled the curtains on his career.
South Africa played the two-Test series against Pakistan. The series was won by South Africa 1-0. They won the first Test match by 160 runs and the second Test match was drawn.
In the second and final match, Pakistan needed to draw out day 5. Inzamam entered when Younis Khan fell for a brilliant 130. Inzamam needed just 4 runs to take over Javed Miandad as Pakistan’s leading run-scorer in Test cricket. However, he was OUT stumped while coming down the ground to hit spinner Paul Harris to get the record. Inzamam ended with 8829 Test runs at a brilliant average of 50.16 with 25 centuries.
3. Pakistan’s first series win over South Africa
South Africa tour of Pakistan, 2003
Before the start of yet another series, Pakistan has never beaten South Africa in a Test series. They also won only one match out of 9 they have played up till that point. South Africa played two Test series in Pakistan. However, this time Pakistan took the victory, winning the series 1-0. They won the first Test match by 8 wickets before drawing the final match.
Star performers were Taufeeq Umar, Imran Farhat, and Danish Kaneria. Taufeeq Umar was awarded the Player of the Series for his 313 runs at an average of 78, scoring three fifties and a hundred.
4. The 2013 Abu Dhabi Test
South Africa vs Pakistan in UAE, 2013
South Africa played Pakistan for a series of two Test matches in the UAE. South Africa, the then number one ranked side in the world, were coming to the series 15 matches undefeated. Pakistan had their own issues and they recently lost a Test match to Zimbabwe a month earlier.
However, no one saw what was coming as Pakistan dominated the 1st Test match. On the back of centuries from Khurram Manzoor and Misbah ul-Haq, followed by a debutant Shan Masood’s 75, Pakistan took a massive lead of 192 after bowling South Africa 249 in the first innings. Pakistan again bowled South Africa for 232 in the second innings before chasing 40 down with 7 wickets to spare.
Although the series ended in draw as the visitors won the second Test match by an innings, Pakistan’s victory in the first Test will be remembered by fans.
5. The 2010 Test series in UAE
South Africa vs Pakistan in UAE, 2010
It was the first Test series for Pakistan after the infamous spot-fixing saga that took in England months earlier. Misbah was appointed as the new Test captain. His first assignment was against the touring South African side. It was also the first “home” series in UAE.
They played the two-Test series and both matches were drawn. It was the start of Pakistan’s long and unbeaten Test series run in the UAE.