Twitter Reactions: The professor - Mohammad Hafeez guides Pakistan to a win in the first ODI

Twitter Reactions: The professor – Mohammad Hafeez guides Pakistan to a win in the first ODI

The Pakistan fans were jubilated with this fantastic win that came after a while.

Mohammad Hafeez
Mohammad Hafeez. (Photo by Richard Huggard/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

The Pakistan cricket team finally put a full-stop to South Africa’s dominance on this tour. After the whitewash in the whites, they bounced back hard in the 50-overs format. In the first of the five-match series, the Men in Green defeated the Proteas comprehensively by a five-wicket margin. Mohammad Hafeez was one of the star performers for the team under pressure.

Moreover, handy knocks from Imam-ul-Haq and Babar Azam made things easier for Hafeez towards the end. With this win, Pakistan now have got five wins in the last six encounters against the Proteas in ODIs. Also, the death bowling of the visitors has to be commended, for they have saved plenty of runs towards the end.

Hashim Amla, Rassie van der Dussen’s efforts fall short

Faf du Plessis won the toss for the hosts and elected to bat first. It was Hashim Amla and Reeza Hendricks who were sent out to open the innings. This pair added 82 runs for the opening wicket in 17.4 overs before Hendricks walked back to the pavilion after scoring 45 off 67 balls. Amla, who scored at almost run-a-ball until his half-century slowed down a fair margin after he reached the landmark.

With support from the debutant Rassie van der Dussen, these two still seemed to be cruising along well. At the end of 35 overs, the team’s score was 160/1 and a total of about 300 was definitely on the cards. However, with the opener not able to manufacture the big shots, Dussen had to take his chances.

He perished after scoring 93 off 101 missing out on a century on his debut. Amla, who scored 108 off 120, is the same man to be blamed for slowing down things towards the end of the innings. The home team ultimately got to 266/2 in 50 overs, where they were still 15-25 runs short. The Pakistani bowlers, although not amongst the wickets, were highly clinical in tying down the batsmen in the last ten overs of the innings.

Mohammad Hafeez, Imam-ul-Haq eclipse the Proteas with match-winning knocks

Although Pakistan lost Fakhar Zaman for just 25 runs in the chase, Imam and Babar Azam steadied the ship. The duo took its own time but ensured that the required run rate never got too high. On a deck where there was nothing for the bowlers, these two added 86 runs laying a perfect platform. Azam’s departure after piling up 49 runs brought in Mohammad Hafeez.

The Professor played a gem of a knock under pressure as he kept losing partners at one end. Imam was the first to find the way back to the pavilion after getting 86 off 101 deliveries. Then, Shoaib Malik (12 off 17 balls) and Sarfraz Ahmed (1 off 3 balls) followed the same path. Yet, Hafeez was on the top of his game and played a brilliant inning with an unbeaten 71 (63 balls). Shabad Khan, who crawled to 18 off 19, finished the game for Pakistan by picking a single off the first ball of the last over.

The Pakistan fans were jubilated with this fantastic win that came after a while. Twitterati was thrilled to watch Mohammad Hafeez and Imam-ul-Haq do so well. There was immense praise for the bowlers who hit the right areas and made optimum use of the slowness of the track. The South African fans were disappointed that the team didn’t cling on to the key moments in the match.

Here is how Twitterati reacted:

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