Monday Feb 08, 2021
RAWALPINDI: Pakistan right-arm pacer Hasan Ali intrigued a lot of people when after taking a wicket, followed up his usual generator-styled celebration with another one.
After bowling out a South African batsman and doing the generator move, Hasan Ali celebrated the wicket by making a cradling motion with his arms. The move left many puzzled, until sports journalist Saj Sadiq stated that the move was due to the child Hasan Ali was expecting with his wife.
"The celebration was because Mr and Mrs Hassan Ali are expecting their first child next month," tweeted Sadiq.
During the post-match press conference, Hasan Ali credited the baby for his stellar performance. "Credit goes to the baby," he said after taking 11 wickets in the second Test match and winning Pakistan the series. "I believe God is blessing me because of the child me and my wife are expecting."
Hasan said that his wife had also arrived at the stadium to watch the match hence he wanted to do well knowing she was watching him from the stands.
Hasan finished with 5-60 to record his best match figures of 11-114 and help dismiss South Africa -- who were set a daunting 370 to chase -- for 274 before the tea break.
Hasan’s new-ball partner Shaheen Shah Afridi finished with 4-51, while spinner Yasir Shah took the last wicket to spark jubilation among the Pakistan players.
Opener Aiden Markram scored a fighting 108 and Temba Bavuma 61.
They put on a 106-run stand for the fourth wicket to give Pakistan a scare.
Markram took a single off the last ball before lunch as South Africa reached the break on 219-3, needing 151 for a win.
But Hasan ripped through the tourists’ batting order, which lost seven wickets for just 33 runs with the second new ball.
Hasan struck with the second over of the new ball to end Markram’s resistance by getting the opener caught in the slip and end his 335-minute fight.
Markram’s fifth Test century -- the first outside South Africa -- included 13 boundaries and three sixes.
Next ball, Hasan had Quinton de Kock caught in the slip for nought, ending the South African skipper’s miserable series with just 46 runs.
Pakistan skipper Babar Azam was delighted with the win.
"Thanks to South Africa for coming and playing competitive cricket," said Azam. "Hasan’s comeback after one year was great and he showed great character."
Hasan was sidelined for more than a year with multiple injuries but came back strongly with 12 wickets in the series.