There were 10 or 15 runs that we could have pushed a little harder for: Faf du Plessis

There were 10 or 15 runs that we could have pushed a little harder for: Faf du Plessis

Pakistan took a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.

Faf du Plessis
Faf du Plessis. (Photo by Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images)

After a 3-0 drubbing in the Test series, Pakistan bounced back well as they beat Faf du Plessis’ South Africa in the opening ODI by five wickets. Riding on Hashim Amla’s 27th One-Day International ton and debutant Rassie van der Dussen’s 93, South Africa posted 266 in their 50 overs. Opener Imam-ul-Haq’s 86 and Mohammed Hafeez’s 71 helped Pakistan get over the line in the final over.

However, it was Pakistan’s discipline that kept the Proteas in check. Despite having 9 wickets in hand at the 35-over mark, the hosts could only score 106 runs in the final 15 overs and only 34 runs in the last five overs. Even though Pakistan couldn’t get wickets throughout the innings, they didn’t allow the run-rate to get out of hand and the final flourish never came from the Proteas batsmen.

Skipper Faf du Plessis felt his team was 10 or 15 runs short while he was all praise for the Pakistan bowlers. “The two guys (Amla and van der Dussen) batted really well, but perhaps there were 10 or 15 runs that we could have pushed a little harder for. Pakistan bowled better than us over 50 overs today,” du Plessis said, reflecting on the five-wicket loss.

This performance is a great team effort: Sarfraz Ahmed

Pakistan’s batting was one of the reasons for their Test series loss. The toporder failed to give decent starts. However, despite the early dismissal of Fakhar Zaman, Pakistan didn’t panic as Imam and Babar Azam stabilized the innings. However, some quick wickets in the latter half of the innings might have sent some jitters in the Pakistan dressing room. But Hafeez’s calm head ensured they crossed the line.

Skipper Sarfraz Ahmed termed it as a ‘great team effort’. “This performance is a great team effort. Imam, Babar and Hafeez did the job for us. In the middle part of the innings Shadab, Imad and Hafeez did a good job,” he said in the post-match presentation.

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