Drama in Centurion, Pakistan win thriller
‘Unpredictable’ Pakistan have gone just over the line against South Africa in the first ODI that went down to the final ball at SuperSport Park, Centurion.
An anti-climatic finish saw Pakistan chase down 274 with three wickets remaining. Needing 3 runs off the last over off Andile Phehlukwayo, Faheem Ashraf could not find a way to score the runs as the required runs remained the same for the last two balls. He took a double and pierced the gap to earn a nerve-wrecking win.
South Africa posted 273/6, thanks to a maiden hundred from the bat of Rassie van der Dussen who built on the innings from 55/4 after being asked to bat first.
Van der Dussen paired on a 116-run partnership with David Miller, who made 56-ball 50 runs, for the fifth wicket. Putting on the accelerator after a watchful start, van der Dussen stayed not out making 123* runs from 134 deliveries with 10 fours and 2 sixes.
Pakistan’s pace had reduced the hosts to losing three wickets, including the one of new captain Temba Bavuma (1), in the first powerplay.
Bavuma’s counterpart Babar Azam eased his way to becoming the fastest (76 innings) to make 13 ODI hundreds.
After Fakhar Zaman’s (8) early departure of Kagiso Rabada, Imam-ul-Haq (70 off 80) and his captain put on 177 runs to give Pakistan a clear shot at taking the series lead.
Then arrived Anrich Nortje who sent back Babar, Imam, debutant Danish Aziz and Asif Ali in a quick second-spell. It all started with Babar edging behind to Quinton de Kock just the very next ball after reaching his hundred. His 17-boundary studded innings had 103 runs in 104 balls.
Mohammad Rizwan (40 off 52) and Shadab Khan (33 off 30) dug Pakistan out of the hole before last-over drama where the latter fell.
The penultimate over bowled by Lungi Ngidi was even more dramatic. van der Dussen dropped Shadab at deep mid-wicket. The ball Ngidi bowled a high full-toss which Shadab edged onto the stumps and the delivery was later called a no-ball.
South Africa 273/6 in 50 overs (vd Dussen 123*, Miller 50; Shaheen 2/61, Haris 2/72)
Pakistan 274/7 in 50 overs (Babar 103, Imam 70; Nortje 4/51, Phehlukwayo 2/56)
Pakistan won by 3 wickets
Player of the Match: Babar Azam