Pakistan in South Africa, 5 ODI Series, 2019 |1st ODI |1/19/2019 St George's Park, Port Elizabeth
This was the perfect start Pakistan could have asked for after their defeat in the Test series. It was a clinical performance from them and they will be pleased with it. South Africa may have lost, but there certainly are positives to take for them from this game, along with the lessons. The next game takes place on Tuesday, in Durban, at 1300 local (1100 GMT). Do join in for that. Cheers!
Pakistan skipper, Sarfraz Ahmed, says the credit goes to the bowlers first. Also applauds Imam-ul-Haq and Babar Azam for the way they played. Reckons that they won the game in the middle when the spinners kept it tight and never let the opposition get away with the game. On his captaincy, he says he's always been an animated character and that's how he'll always be.
Man of the Match, Mohammad Hafeez, says it was a great team effort as they first restricted South Africa to a decent score and then chased it down. Mentions that if you win the first game of the series, it always provides good momentum. States that they were always confident after restricting South Africa to 266 and after the start the openers gave, the task became much easier.
South Africa skipper, Faf du Plessis, says they were 10-15 runs short and rues the fact that they couldn't capitalize on the foundation laid by Hashim Amla and Rassie van der Dussen. Credits Pakistan for pacing the chase well and admits there are lessons to take from this game. On Hashim Amla, he says he's found some form since the Test series and also applauds Rassie van der Dussen for the way he played. Adds that these are positive signs, especially with the upcoming World Cup in mind. Continues saying that they needed to adapt to the conditions better, like Pakistan did, particularly in the middle overs, and that is something they should learn from.
South Africa, after posting a below par total on the board, couldn't get the early wickets they needed. And couldn't stem the flow of runs in the middle overs either. The Pakistan top order put its side in a comfortable position, which in turn helped the experience in the middle order to take the visitors home. A few wickets did fall in quick succession towards the end, but the game was more or less over by then. Earlier in the day, South Africa made their way to 266 on the back of a Amla hundred and a van der Dussen 93, but despite that, they couldn't post a score which would be enough.
Despite it going to the last over, it was a commanding win for the Men in Green. The task wasn't that difficult to begin with, but the Pakistan top order made that job that much easier. The openers added 45, and after Zaman's departure, Imam (who missed out on a ton) carried the torch forward. He made two superb partnerships with Azam and Hafeez worth 94 and 46 respectively, which more or less sealed the deal. Hafeez then came in, used his experience, shouldered the responsibility well and saw his side home, remaining unbeaten on 71.
K Rabada to S Khan, And there's the game! PAKISTAN WIN BY 5 WICKETS! Comfortably done too in the end. Shadab Khan digs this yorker out towards mid on and sets off. Takes the fielder on and wins that contest. Smiles and handshakes all around in the Pakistan camp, deservedly so too.
END OF OVER 49 | 13 Runs & 0 Wkt | PAK 266/5
D Olivier to M Hafeez, FOUR! The scores are level now. Hafeez makes Olivier pay for bowling short so consistently. Just stands tall and pulls this aerially through mid-wicket for a boundary.
D Olivier to M Hafeez, Pounds it in short again, the batsman looks to pull but misses and is hit around the shoulder. It lobs behind to the keeper who dives to his right and stops it.
D Olivier to M Hafeez, Another short ball from Olivier, Hafeez pulls it through mid-wicket for two more.
D Olivier to M Hafeez, In the air and safe! Seems to going Pakistan's way. Back of a length and Hafeez pulls. Gets a big fat top edge which lobs over the keeper's head towards fine leg. The batsmen take two.
D Olivier to S Khan, Outside the line of off stump, on a good length, dabbed wide of point for one.
D Olivier to S Khan, FOUR! Looks like Pakistan are winning this. This is a super hit. Length ball on middle and leg, Shadab makes room and bangs this over the bowler's head. Hits it too straight and finds the fence.
END OF OVER 48 | 4 Runs & 0 Wkt | PAK 253/5
K Rabada to S Khan, Shortish delivery, pulled away behind square leg. Fine leg moves across to his left and keeps the batsmen to just the one.
K Rabada to S Khan, Yorker fired in on middle and leg, Shadab does well to bring his bat down in time.
K Rabada to S Khan, The batsman plays this very late. Runs it down to third man and takes a couple of runs.
K Rabada to S Khan, Another bumper, ducked and evaded by the batsman. The umpire signals one for the over.
K Rabada to S Khan, Bangs in the short one, Shadab arches back to play the ramp shot but fails to make connection.
K Rabada to M Hafeez, Behind a good length in the off stump corridor, it's worked to third man. Single to the total.
END OF OVER 47 | 10 Runs & 0 Wkt | PAK 249/5
D Olivier to M Hafeez, Full and attacking the stumps, worked towards wide mid on for a single.
D Olivier to M Hafeez, FOUR! What a shot. Too good a player to miss out on this. A full toss from Olivier, Hafeez with the full face of the bat lofts it over mid off and finds the fence.
D Olivier to M Hafeez, Works it away on the leg side. No run taken.