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CT 2017, PAK v SA, Match 7, Review: Pakistan beat the Proteas in another game decided by D/L

Pakistan won the match 19 runs (D/L).

Hasan Ali Pakistan
Pakistan’s Hasan Ali. (Photo by LINDSEY PARNABY/AFP/Getty Images)

The stage was set for yet another cracker of a contest between two big teams – Pakistan and South Africa. The Proteas camp had romped home by a handsome margin in their first match of the tournament against Sri Lanka. On the other hand, the Pakistani team had an embarrassing defeat at the hands of India in their previous game. Coming into this game, both teams had contrasting agenda.

For South Africans, a win would have confirmed their semi-final berth. For Pakistan, it was about staying alive in the competition. Proteas skipper AB de Villiers won the toss and opted to bat first. They played with the same lineup in the game. The men in green brought in Fakhar Zaman and Junaid Khan in the match at the expense of Wahab Riaz and Ahmed Shehzad. South African openers Quinton de Kock and Hashim Amla walked in to open the innings as Junaid Khan shared the new ball with Mohammad Amir.

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The plan was visibly different for the men in green as they did not give Imad Wasim the new ball like they did in their previous game against India. The Proteas openers got off to a decent start with 40 runs added for the first wicket. The partnership was broken when the first change bowler Imad was brought into the attack. He managed to trap Amla lbw on 16 (20) with a one that nipped back in. Faf du Plessis was the new man in and he tried to play off the spin of Wasim without trying too much.

Meanwhile, Mohammad Hafeez was also brought into the attack. The two spinners, very different in their styles and approach, bowled well in tandem to choke the run flow. Quinton perished to Hafeez in his attempt to break the shackles. He scored 33 off 49 balls before getting dismissed in the 14th over. Things got worse for South Africa as they lost their skipper AB de Villiers for a golden duck off the bowling of Imad Wasim.

This was the first instance when ABD got a golden duck in the format. Left-handed batsman David Miller was the next batsman in to bat. He added few crucial runs with Du Plessis as some rebuilding work was needed at 61/3. Hasan Ali was introduced into the attack and the speedster cleaned up Faf du Plessis straightaway on 26 (44). JP Duminy (8) had no clue to Hasan’s pace and departed soon after.

Ali struck for the third time in the game when he sent Wayne Parnell for a golden duck. At 118/6 in 29 overs, things looked grim for South Africa. Chris Morris and Miller added 47 runs for the seventh wicket to take the total past 150-run mark. Morris’ 28 came off 45 balls before Junaid Khan managed to dismiss him towards the fag end of the innings. Kagiso Rabada then played a handy 26 off 23 balls.

However, it was the innings of substance from David Miller that helped the Proteas finish with 219/8 in their 50 overs. Miller remained unbeaten on 75 that came off 104 balls with a four and 3 sixes. His numbers were a testimonial of the tough scoring at the track on the day. Hasan Ali was the pick of the bowlers with 2/24 to his name.

And the run chase

In the run chase, Pakistan got off to a flying start as Fakhar Zaman plundered 31 off 23 balls with 6 exquisite fours to his name. It was Morne Morkel who got him out in the 8th over to give Proteas their first breakthrough. A ball later, Morkel managed to dismiss the other opener Azhar Ali as well. Suddenly, Pakistan were on the back foot with two new batsmen at the crease – Babar Azam and Mohammad Hafeez. A period of slow progression followed as 3 maidens were bowled in a row.

Hafeez and Azam then started to nurdle the ball around to keep the scorecard ticking. Hafeez scored a sedate 26 off 53 balls before top-edging a delivery from Morne Morkel. His departure saw Shoaib Malik join Azam at the crease. Malik showed positive intent and hit three free flowing shots before rain halted the play. After 27 overs, Pakistan were 119/3 – 19 runs ahead of the DLS par score.

Rain didn’t allow the game to resume after the interval and Pakistan won the match 19 runs (D/L).

Brief Scores:

South Africa – 219/8 in 50 overs (Miller 75*, Quinton 33, Hasan 3/24, Imad 2/20)

Pakistan – 119/3 in 27 overs (Fakhar Zaman 31; Morne Morkel 3/18)

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