Saturday 20 October 2007 

Pakistan Level One-Day Series With All-Round Effort

Seamers Rao Iftikhar and Umar Gul shared six wickets and Mohammad Yousuf hammered a century to guide Pakistan to a 25-run win over South Africa in the second one-dayer at the Gaddafi stadium on Saturday.

Yousuf's 117 led the hosts to 265 for nine before they bowled out South Africa for 240 to level the five-match series 1-1.

Iftikhar (3-43) and Gul (3-59) bowled a disciplined line on a slow, wearing pitch.

South Africa captain Graeme Smith top-scored with 65 in 96 balls but he enjoyed a charmed life as he was bowled first ball off a no-ball and was dropped on 19, 29 and 44.

He and AB de Villiers (35) shared a stand of 76 for the third wicket.

After Smith went with the score on 140 for six in the 35th over, the experienced Shaun Pollock hit 37 and Albie Morkel made 31 in a partnership of 55 but Pakistan stayed cool to clinch victory.

GOOD EFFORT

"It was a challenging total on that wicket," Smith told reporters. "Credit to Yousuf, his hundred was a good effort.

"We got close but we kept on losing wickets in the middle overs."

Pakistan made an excellent start when Gul trapped Herschelle Gibbs lbw for a duck from the third ball of the innings and next over left arm paceman Sohail Tanvir removed Jacques Kallis for another duck.

Younis Khan took over as Pakistan captain in the 10th over after Shoaib Malik went off with a calf strain.

Malik, though, returned for the final few overs.

Earlier, Yousuf notched his 13th one-day international century for Pakistan.

After opting to bat first, the home team built their sizeable total around a 107-run fourth-wicket partnership between Yousuf and Malik, who clubbed four sixes in his 56.

Yousuf said it was a tricky pitch to bat on.

"It was slow and difficult to make shots when the ball got old," he said. "It was a good effort from me."

Malik said winning the toss was important after the same pitch was also used for the first match on Thursday.

© Reuters 2007

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