South Africa 343-5 (de Villiers 128) beat
Pakistan 309 by 34 runs
Third One-Day International, Johannesburg
A packed Wanderers’ crowd, dressed predominantly in pink to raise awareness of breast cancer, were treated to a batting masterclass by players on both sides in the third One-Day International between Pakistan and South Africa. AB de Villiers and Hashim Amla hit fluent centuries, adding a world-record 238 for the third-wicket, to lead South Africa to 343 for three five after they had been asked to bat.
Shahid Afridi then resuscitated the Pakistan run chase with a brutal 88 which took only 48 balls, while Wahab Riaz ensured that the match stayed relatively competitive until near the end.
Pakistan had begun their pursuit of their mammoth target of 344 in the worst possible fashion by losing Nasir Jamshed in the fourth over to Lonwabo Tsotsobe. Kamran Akmal and Mohammad Hafeez then added 82 in good time for the second-wicket, but Akmal edged a slow bouncer from Ryan McLaren to ‘keeper de Villiers when on 30 and steady trickle of wickets followed.
Hafeez fell three overs later, ending his sprightly innings at 57 off 49 balls, while Younus Khan, Misbah-ul-Haq and Shoaib Malik were unable to provide anything like the major contribution that was needed. When Malik drove Tsotsobe straight to mid-off, Pakistan were in danger of imploding.
However, Afridi rolled back the years and reminded all who needed it just why he is a folk hero in Pakistan. He dominated a sixth-wicket stand of 71 with Misbah. Over the course of 44 balls, he hit seven towering sixes, including one that bounced off the stand at the golf course end and must have made any golfers enjoying a Sunday afternoon round wonder what had hit them.
Ryan McLaren endured a range of contrasting emotions in the space of around 10 minutes. He was hit for six, bowled Afridi off a no-ball, was hit for another six, before clinging onto the chance at mid-off off the bowling of Tsotsobe which ended Afridi’s innings.
Wahab Riaz then made sure that the crowd got their money’s worth by hitting 45 off 52 balls and taking Pakistan to 309 before being last man out.
South Africa had earlier struggled initially after being inserted by Misbah and lost Graeme Smith early. Mohammad Irfan and Junaid Khan again bowled good spells with the new ball, but all of the other Pakistan bowlers were given the full treatment by de Villiers, Amla and company.
Wahab Riaz returned the most expensive figures ever by a Pakistani in ODIs - conceding 93 runs off his 10 overs - while Afridi, Ajmal and Hafeez all went at more than an run a ball. De Villiers and Amla’s partnership was finally brought to an end at 238, but Faf du Plessis ensured that the innings finished with a flourish, hitting 45 off only 19 balls.
© Cricket World 2013
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