Pakistan Square Series As South Africa Batsmen Struggle

Saeed Ajmal appeals
Saeed Ajmal took two for 15 from eight overs.
©REUTERS/Rogan Ward. Picture Supplied by Action Images

Pakistan 209 (McLaren 4-34) beat
South Africa 143 (Afridi 3-26) by 66 runs
Second One-Day International, Dubai

183 proved enough for South Africa to triumph in the first ODI on Wednesday, while 209 was sufficient for Pakistan to record a comfortable 66-run win tonight in Dubai and so head to Abu Dhabi with the series level at one apiece.

Ryan McLaren and Morne Morkel shared seven wickets as the nominal home side were restricted after electing to bat. Ahmed Shehzad hit 58, but there was little else of note from the Pakistani batsmen. However, South Africa lost regular wickets throughout their run chase and were strangulated by their opponent’s spinners.

Mohammad Hafeez, Saeed Ajmal and Shahid Afridi returned combined figures of 23.4-2-66-6 after Sohail Tanvir had begun the wicket-taking spree by bowling Colin Ingram in his opening over.

Graeme Smith and JP Duminy did add 36 for the second-wicket, but Smith was bowled by Saeed Ajmal and the middle-order folded meekly. AB de Villiers (10), Faf du Plessis (12) and David Miller (11) all found the going tough and all fell to spin. Miller’s wicket left it 83 for six in the 28th over and the target of 210 looking a long way off.

Ryan McLaren and Wayne Parnell did provide some fight and hope for any travelling Proteas supporters. They shared 35 for the seventh-wicket, but the weak tail consisting of Morne Morkel, Lonwabo Tsotsobe and Imran Tahir was unable to give McLaren support after Parnell had been caught off Mohammad Irfan for 21.

South Africa were all out for 143, with Irfan picking up the wicket of Morkel to go with that of Parnell to end with three for 53 and back up the work from his spin colleagues.

It had been South Africa’s pace bowlers who had done most of the damage when Pakistan batted. Imran Tahir did deliver an economical spell of one for 28, but McLaren and Morkel proved particularly effective.

Morkel dispensed with Nasir Jamshed in his second over before Ahmed Shehzad found support, first from Hafeez (26), and then from Misbah-ul-Haq (25) to lay a solid foundation for his side. However, wickets tumbled with haste following his departure to Tahir, with only Shahid Afridi (26) and Wahab Riaz (18) prospering during a combative eighth-wicket stand of 28 in 26 balls.

Wayne Parnell ended the innings by having Riaz caught by du Plessis, but was otherwise expensive, conceding 49 runs from 7.4 overs. Morkel and Mclaren each delivered their full allocation and returned figures of three for 38 and four for 34 respectively.

© Cricket World 2013