Pakistanis 270-9 (K Akmal 47, Rehman 35no) beat
South African Inv XI 266-8 by 1 wicket
Tour Match, Kimberley
The Pakistanis held their nerve to defeat a South Africa Invitational XI in their only warm-up match ahead of the ODI series against South Africa. Chasing 267 to win, they slipped to 154 for six before rallying courtesy of several contributions from the lower-order. Shahid Afridi hit a brisk 29 off only 19 balls, while Umar Gul chipped in with 30. Abdur Rehman ended on 35 not out as they won by one wicket with two balls to spare.
Earlier, Quinton de Kock had top-scored for the South Africans with 65 as they made 266 for eight. Shoaib Malik and Abdur Rehman each took two wickets for the Pakistanis.
De Kock had added 55 inside nine overs for the first wicket after the Invitational XI had chosen to bat as the Pakistani bowlers struggled. However, their spinners, Abdur Rehman, Shoiaib Malik and Shahid Afridi, ensured that the home side’s run rate never got out of hand.
De Kock became the second wicket for Rehman when on 65 and had taken the score to 154 at just past the halfway point. Cody Chetty and Vaughn van Jaarsveld, though, then fell in successive overs to Afridi and Malik respectively.
Temba Bavuma did his best and made sure that the innings didn’t implode, hitting 43 off 49 balls, while Hardus Viljoen ended on 25 off 23 balls.
The Pakistani openers, Imran Farhat and Nasir Jamshed, then also started brightly with a 53-run opening stand, but they also struggled in the middle of their innings. Just prior to Farhat’s departure for 40 in the 18th over, they were 86 for one, but wickets fell regularly. Kamran Akmal ensured that the steady procession of wickets couldn’t be classed as a collapse and top-scored with 47, but Younis Khan (0), Misbah-ul-Haq (18) and Shoaib Malik (8) all fell cheaply.
Following Malik’s dismissal to Imran Tahir, the required rate hung at around a run a ball and Pakistan had only the bowlers to help them. Fortunately, they were all able to make contributions. Afridi dominated a seventh-wicket stand of 35 with Rehman, while Gul and Rehman added a further 45.
Wahab Riaz fell in the 46th over with 25 still needed but Rehman found support from Junaid Khan and the two took their side home in the final over. Hardus Viljoen returned by far the best figures by a bowler on either side, taking three for 29, while Imran Tahir did his hopes of a recall to South Africa’s full side no harm by taking three for 40 against the land of his birth.
The first of five One-Day Internationals is in Bloemfontein on Sunday, with matches in Centurion, Johannesburg and Durban then following before the final fixture on 24th March in Benoni.
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