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South Africa vs Pakistan: South Africa win by by 17 runs and Fakhar fireworks light up the Pink Day 2nd ODI

On a perfect ODI surface at Wanderers, Johannesburg, South Africa pipped Pakistan to level the series at 1-1, with a final game to play. The tourists, with the exception of left-handed opener, Fakhar Zaman, who played a heroic innings of 193, could not quite turn it on. In the end the margin was just 17 runs.

Match Summary

South Africa 341/6 (50 ov)

Pakistan 324/9 (50 ov)

South Africa won by 17 runs.

SCORECARD

Since it had worked for Pakistan in the opening game at Centurion Babar won the toss and sent the Proteas in. It was a case of an unchanged line up, just like their opposition. A relaxed Pakistan who had squeezed through the last game, were quietly confident with the aim to wrap the series up. Their new ball bowlers - Shaheen Afridi and Mohammad Hasnain – are both due to turn 21 in the next few days.

The second-wicket stand between Quinton de Kock and Temba Bavuma, the ex and current South Africa ODI captains respectively, showed how good the jigsaw-look Wanderers wicket was worth 300 plus. De Kock was the first to get to his fifty and played on to his stumps, having hit 80 (86 balls, 10 fours, 1 six). Bavuma was kept quiet by the Pakistan bowlers for a 5-6 overs phase but once he found his feet, he played pleasing orthodox strokes and on-drive through wide of mid-on got him to an impressive 50 off 68 balls. Always good to lead from the front and his 92 was to be the top score today.

Van der Dussen, after taking a blow on his arm, took liking to the Pakistan bowling which suddenly looked quite ragged in over 35 onwards. He was suddenly in T20 mode and smashed 50 off just 34 balls and when taken at long-on, his 60 off 37 balls with 6 fours and 4 sixes, had seen South Africa gallop to 270-3 in the 42nd over. He hardly missed out on anything and the total could go beyond 320 mark.

It was heartening to see Pakistan ground fielding, especially around the boundary, not letting the bowlers down, though the total had reached 287-3, with five overs still to go and big-hitting David Miller, capable of changing the picture in no time. He hit Faheem for two massive leg-side sixes, the second off a free hit and in this mood is often unstoppable. Pakistan kept him off the strike for few overs but with 4,6,6,2, 2 off the last five balls of the innings against Shaheen, he got to his fastest fifty in national colours off 27 balls and South Africa total had mounted to 341-6. Surely a match-winning total, after adding 94 in the last ten overs.

Both Kagiso Rabada and Lungi Ngidi – posed threat early on and could afford the luxury of two slips, defending a huge total. Pakistan off to a cautious start were 12-1 after 5 overs. Fakhar in need of a big hundred to justify his selection was up against a quality attack with a true bounce. Babar, missed on 13 at point by Miller off Rabada, looked in good touch in no time took the total to 50 in 8.2 overs. His three boundaries in a row moved the first powerplay score to 68-1 but in the very next over against Nortje he chose to pull from the off side and departed for 31 off 33 balls to his name. He was followed by Rizwan, out without scoring and South Africa were clear favourites now.

Anrich Nortje’s short ball worked for Danish Aziz as well, who could not cope with the bounce and edged behind and Pakistan were limping on 85-4 after 15 overs. Nortje’s spell of 5 overs had rocked the opposition with 3-13, including two potential match-winners. Fakhar kept his head and his stand with Asif Ali took the score to 156-5 off 30 overs, the required run-rate had climbed up to over nine runs an over. South Africa almost certain to level the series 

Fakhar brought up his 5th ODI hundred in the 39th over, having faced 107 balls, whilst carrying his side’s slim hopes. A quality knock, he desperately needed to revive his international career. A 79-meter six, over mid-wicket off Nortje was his fifth hit worth maximum. Now keeping most of the strike, he hit two huge sixes off Tabraiz Shamsi in the 42nd over, few minutes later he hit three more and brought up his 150 off 128 balls.

The target was still quite stiff with 70 needed off 35 balls but Fakhar still refused to give up. He was finally run out in the last over when Pakistan still required 31. His remarkable 193, certainly gave the opposition a fright, is the highest individual ODI innings in South Africa and for any batsman batting second in the 50-years history of this format. He only needed 155 balls, out of which 74 were dots, and a tally of 18 fours and 10 sixes, didn’t deserve to be on the losing side.

South Africa - Quinton de Kock (wk), Aiden Markram, Temba Bavuma (c), Rassie van der Dussen, Heinrich Klaasen, David Miller, Andile Phehlukwayo, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Lungi Ngidi, Tabraiz Shamsi 

Pakistan - Imam-ul-Haq, Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Danish Aziz, Asif Ali, Shadab Khan, Faheem Ashraf, Mohammad Hasnain, Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf/Hasan Ali

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