South Africa 183 (Parnell 56, Saeed Ajmal 4-30) beat
Pakistan 182 (Ahmed Shehzad 58) by 1 run
First One-Day International, Sharjah
Pakistan collapsed from 165 for four to 182 all out as South Africa won the first One-Day International in Sharjah by one run.
There was little hint of the drama to come as they looked to be making serene progress towards victory until Wayne Parnell, Imran Tahir and Morne Morkel bowled South Africa to a dramatic win.
The Proteas had also collapsed during their innings, slipping to 63 for five but thanks to Parnell's 56 in 70 balls, were able to mount a recovery, and eventually reach 183 before they were bowled out. And that proved to be enough.
Mohammad Irfan struck with the second ball of the day to remove opener Colin Ingram without scoring before Graeme Smith and JP Duminy both made 20.
However, Pakistan had the South Africans on the ropes as Faf du Plessis (12), AB de Villiers (4) and Ryan McLaren (8) fell cheaply.
It took Parnell and David Miller (37) to take the Proteas past the 100-run mark and although Shahid Afridi (3-37) struck to remove Morkel for four, Parnell found support from Lonwabo Tsotsobe, who made 16 not out in 42 balls to frustrate Pakistan.
Their 52-run partnership for the ninth wicket effectively turned the game into a no-contest into a match with the potential to deliver some entertainment.
Parnell, who hit six fours and a six, fell when he was caught by Ahmed Shehzad off Saeed Ajmal (4-30) and the innings came to an end when Tahir was dismissed by Sohail Tanvir for one.
Like South Africa, Pakistan also lost an opener without scoring when Morkel had Nasir Jamshed caught by Miller for a 12-ball duck.
They responded strongly through Ahmed Shehzad's 58, Mohammad Hafeez's 28, Misbah-ul-Haq's 31 and Umar Amin's 20 before the wheels came off.
In the 41st over, Amin fell to make the score 165 for five as Tsotsobe had him caught behind by de Villiers. Even at that point, Pakistan were favourites to score the 19 runs they required to win the game, but they couldn't manage it.
Umar Akmal fell one ball after Amin for 18, trapped in front by Tahir and Tanvir followed six ball later for two when he was caught by de Villiers of Tsotsobe (2-28).
174 for seven and 10 required to win became 176 for eight when Afridi was caught by Miller off Tahir. Three runs later Wahab Riaz (0) was trapped in front by the leg-spinner and South Africa were back in the game - perhaps for the first time since Jamshed had fallen.
Ajmal (1 not out) and Irfan (2) managed to nudge their way to 182, and the point when one more run would have levelled the scores, but they couldn't get there, South African celebrations beginning when Irfan was bowled by Morkel.
The two sides meet again in game two of the series in Dubai on 2nd November.
© Cricket World 2013