Pakistan Stage Sensational Comeback To Win Series

Ahmed Shehzad plays a shot
Ahmed Shehzad set up Pakistan's competitive total with 102 before Saeed Ajmal and Junaid Khan excelled at the death.
©REUTERS/Mike Hutchings. Picture Supplied by Action Images

Pakistan 262 (Shehzad 102) beat
South Africa 261-6 (Amla 98) by 1 run
Second One-Day International, Port Elizabeth

Pakistan sensationally snatched victory from the jaws of defeat as they won by a single run in Port Elizabeth against South Africa to secure the three-match ODI series with a game to spare. It is the first time that they have ever won an ODI series in South Africa.

Ahmed Shehzad set up the Pakistan total of 262 by hitting 102 at the top of the order after rain before the start had reduced the contest to 45 overs aside. However, the hosts were in pole position for much of their run chase, especially while AB de Villiers and Hashim Amla were going well during their fourth-wicket stand of 110.

De Villiers departed to Junaid Khan for 74 off only 45 balls, but the Proteas should still have eased home. Amla, though, fell to the final ball of Saeed Ajmal’s final over two short of his century, with JP Duminy dismissed in the final over for 15 to leave new batters David Miller and Ryan McLaren needing to score eight off the final four balls.

Miller failed to score off the third ball, with singles following off the next two to leave him needing to hit a six off the final delivery. He failed to connect and the ball went between his legs to run away for four byes.

South Africa’s run chase had begun badly as they lost Graeme Smith in the fifth over to Junaid Khan for just one. However, Quinton de Kock and Hashim Amla got them back on track. The pair added 87 before de Kock was caught off the impressive Shahid Afridi for 47.

Afridi then also dispatched Jacques Kallis (6) and would end with figures of two for 38 as the required run rate briefly threatened to get out of hand. De Villiers, though, came in and blazed a trail to whittle it back down to just a run a ball.

Amla was the anchor and ended his half-century drought at eight games, eventually scoring 98 before his dismissal handed Pakistan a sniff. Ajmal, and then Junaid, delivered exemplary final overs to leave South Africa cruelly short.

Pakistan’s batting is their familiar weak link and they may have been left feeling a little nervous after being asked to bat following a prolonged bout of rain. Nasir Jamshed was bowled in the first over by Dale Steyn, with Mohammad Hafeez following for eight shortly afterwards to make it look like those fears could be realised.

Shehzad and the increasingly impressive Sohaib Maqsood soon put them to bed, however, and added 124 for the third-wicket in a little over 21 overs. Maqsood was dismissed by man of the series from the UAE Ryan McLaren, who had been recalled to the side at the expense of Vernon Philander, with the well-again Lonwabo Tsotsobe replacing Morne Morkel as the hosts’ other change from the first ODI.

Skipper Misbah-ul-Haq came and went for 12 to Imran Tahir, with Shehzad finally departing in the 35th over for a brilliant 102 off 112 balls to leave Pakistan tottering at 180 for five. Umar Akmal ensured that his century wasn’t wasted by blasting 42 off only 30 balls as the Pakistan innings finished with a flourish.

Steyn was quite simply exceptional for South Africa, returning career-best figures of six for 39, but the remainder of the seamers were a little disappointing.

© Cricket World 2013

Fixtures & Results

20th November: 1st T20I, Johannesburg
RSA 153-7 beat PAK 60-2 by 4 runs (D/L)
22nd November: 2nd T20I, Cape Town
PAK 176-4 beat RSA 170-4 by 6 runs
24th November: 1st ODI, Cape Town
PAK 218-9 beat RSA 195 by 23 runs
27th November: 2nd ODI, Port Elizabeth
PAK 262 beat RSA 261-6 by 1 run
30th November: 3rd ODI, Centurion
RSA 181-6 beat PAK 179 by 4 wickets