Thursday 18 October 2007 

South Africa's Golden Run Continues In Lahore

South Africa 294 for 5 (De Villiers 103no, Gibbs 102)
Pakistan 249 all out (Mohammad Yousuf 53, Ntini 4-69) in Lahore
South Africa won by 45 runs and lead the five-match series 1-0

South Africa switched effortlessly from tests into one-day internationals and effected a comprehensive 45-run defeat of Pakistan in the first match in Lahore thanks to centuries from Herschelle Gibbs and AB De Villiers, and an outstanding spell of bowling from Makhaya Ntini.

Chasing 295 to win was always a tall order for the Pakistan side, and even more so when Ntini removed four batsmen in his opening spell to leave them reeling. Imran Nazir (16), Younus Khan (12), Mohammad Hafeez (six), and Shoaib Malik (11) all perished to the fast bowler who conceded 46 runs in his first seven overs, with his wickets the perfect foil to the returning Shaun Pollock, who conceded just 16. Charl Langeveldt then got rid of Misbah-ul-Haq for 20 before Mohammad Yousuf and Kamran Akmal added a half-century partnership to keep the home side in the game.

South Africa struck back, Jacques Kallis dismissing both Yousuf for 53 and Kamran Akmal for 35. Shahid Afridi blasted 47 from 26 balls before he was caught behind off of Albie Morkel and with his departure Pakistan's slim hopes of victory were extinguished.

Earlier, centuries from Herschelle Gibbs and AB De Villiers underpinned South Africa's impressive total of 294 for 5.

After South Africa had won the toss and chosen to bat first, Gibbs added 85 for the first wicket with captain Graeme Smith (34) in 14.3 overs and although Pakistan struck again with the wicket of Kallis, caught and bowled by Shahid Afridi for eight, Gibbs found excellent support from De Villiers, with the pair adding 137 for the third wicket.

Gibbs' innings of 102 included 11 fours and one six, coming off of 128 balls while De Villiers smashed an unbeaten 103 from 95 balls with nine fours and three sixes as South Africa carried their excellent test batting form into the one-day arena. De Villiers shared a partnership worth fifty with Mark Boucher, with the wicket-keeper's contribution a mere 14, while powerful allrounder Justin Kemp fell for just one.

Albie Morkel, Justin Kemp, Charl Langeveldt and Johan Botha were all introduced to the side while for Pakistan, Shahid Afridi returned along with Rao Iftikhar, Mohammad Hafeez and Imran Nazir with Sohail Tanvir making his one-day international debut.

John Pennington
© Cricket World 2007

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