- Fawad Alam’s third Test century underpinned Pakistan’s perfect day when they started at 33/4, but finished the second day on 308/8.
- Alam’s 109 helped Pakistan accrue a lead of 88, one that will be crucial to the outcome of the game.
- The ongoing first Test is Alam’s first in Pakistan and his first in his home city of Karachi.
Pakistan batsman Fawad Alam says his side is in a good position to win the first Test against South Africa in Karachi.
Alam’s 109, his third Test hundred, played a critical role in Pakistan getting an 88-run lead with two wickets standing on Wednesday.
Alam came in on the first evening when Pakistan were 27/4, but his innings contained only one tough chance when he gave Dean Elgar a catch that he missed at first slip when he was on 35.
Pakistan went to bed on day two on 308/8 in response to SA’s first inning of 220.
The 35-year-old Alam was part of three important 50-plus middle-order alliances with Azhar Ali, Mohammad Rizwan and Faheem Ashraf that moved Pakistan from peril to safety and then close to a position of dominance at the National Stadium.
Should Pakistan win, it’ll be only their second Test victory against South Africa at home. Their first one was an eight-wicket triumph at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore in 2003.
"It’s too early to say, but we’re in a good situation right now because of the lead of around 80 that we have. If we make a good 20-30 runs, we’ll have a very good chance of gaining the upper hand against the South African team," Alam said.
"The pitch is slow. It is turning. If we can get a lead of about 140 to about 150, we have a very good chance of winning this Test match."
Alam remains one of the wonders of Pakistan cricket, with his unexplained 10-year non-selection to the national team still one of the great mysteries of Pakistan’s eternal chaos in the game.
Alam made his first-class debut in 2003 and made his Test bow nearly six years later against Sri Lanka, where he made 168.
Two Tests later, he was in the Test wilderness and despite churning out the runs, various coaches, captains and selectors didn’t turn his way until last year’s tour of England.
The energetic left-hander with a weird batting stance has taken that in his stride and has seemingly made peace with his long absence.
Alam’s converted all three of his 50’s into tons, but his other two against Sri Lanka and New Zealand both came in defeats.
"I’m feeling very good, but you know these things happen in sport and in a cricket career. Sometimes you perform and sometimes you don’t. I made a comeback into the Pakistan national team and the feeling was out of this world," Alam said.