Pakistan beat Proteas by three wickets to level series

2013-03-21 18:52

A 153-run stand between Misbah-ul-Huq and Imran Farhat assisted Pakistan to a three-wicket victory over South Africa in the fourth Momentum One Day Series in Durban today.

Playing in his first ODI since June 2012, Farhat opened the batting for Pakistan and fell on 93, when his side were still nine runs short of victory.

Shoaib Malik hit the winning runs as Pakistan levelled the series 2-2 with eight balls to spare.

Pakistan's run chase began in controversial fashion when AB de Villiers appealed to have opening batsman Mohammad Hafeez given out for obstructing the field.

According to the new rules of cricket, introduced in October 2011, if an umpire feels that a batsman running between the wickets, has significantly changed his direction, without probable cause, and thereby obstructed an attempted run out, the batsman should, on appeal, be given out.

It is irrelevant whether or not the ball would have gone on to hit the stumps.

The decision was referred to the third umpire who ruled in South Africa's favour to the fury of Hafeez, who had only faced one ball, and became the first batsman in international cricket to be given out under the updated Law 37.

David Miller, promoted into the side to replace the injured Faf du Plessis, took a blinding catch on one knee to dismiss Kamran Akmal (11) who was trying to hit Lonwabo Tsotsobe for four.

After being dropped on five, Younus added just one more run before Rory Kleinveldt rattled his stumps and Pakistan found themselves in a similar situation to the Proteas at 33 for three.

After achieving a record fourth-wicket stand at Kingsmead, nearly-man Misbah, holed out on 80 and has still never scored a century in his 113 one-day games.

Farhat also fell short with only one century under his belt, having played 52 matches but it took a brilliant catch by Behardien, who took it over his shoulder, to give Dale Steyn his only wicket of the match and his 99th in one-day cricket.

South Africa found themselves in the unusual situation of being two wickets down without a run on the board.

Thanks to De Villiers and Miller, they kicked on to post a reasonable total of 234 for nine.

The pair shared a vital 115-run stand for the fifth wicket after the tallest man in cricket, Mohammad Irfan, was on a hat-trick after just two deliveries had been bowled in the match.

Hashim Amla, who made a century in the last game, played a loose shot to Irfan and got a healthy edge to the wicketkeeper.

Kamran Akmal took an excellent catch, diving to his right in front of first slip.

In walked Colin Ingram, who scored a century in the first ODI and a duck in the second, only to be undone by the perfect yorker.

Irfan landed the ball in front of off-stump and it moved away to beat the outside edge and knock over the stumps, giving Ingram his second first-baller of the series.

The skipper fended off the hat-trick ball and, before long, he had the scoreboard ticking over.

Graeme Smith and De Villiers added 34 runs for their 53-ball stand until Junaid Khan struck with a very clever piece of bowling.

He spotted Smith moving too far across and, aiming at leg stump, Junaid got it spot on, bowling Smith around his legs for 12.

Junaid then found the inside edge of Behardien's bat to giving Kamran Akmal another impressive catch, this time diving to his left.

Miller had his share of good fortune when he was dropped on nine but rode his luck, achieving his highest score in the 50-over game.

He was eventually out for 67, lbw to Saeed Ajmal, with his previous best being 59 against Australia in Port Elizabeth in October 2011.

De Villiers went on to make 75 and was a tad unlucky to be given out.

While Irfan was impressive with his bowling, he took a fascinating catch to dismiss Ryan MLaren (11) after the batsman lofted a delivery to long-off.

Irfan misjudged the catch and, as he turned away, the ball stuck in his left palm.

After castling Rory Kleinveldt (18), Irfan finished with three wickets for 46 while Ajmal bagged three for 42.

A few lusty blows from Robin Peterson in the last over, and a four from Tsotsobe, ruined Junaid's excellent figures as he too grabbed three for 45.

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