All to play for in final one-dayer

2013-03-22 00:00

THERE’S all to play for as the Proteas and Pakistan head to Willowmore Park, Benoni, on Sunday for the fifth and series-deciding ODI, after the visitors levelled the series 2-2 with a three-wicket win in Durban yesterday.

Chasing South Africa’s 234/9, the Pakistan charge was led by skipper Misbah-ul-Haq (80) and Imran Farhat (93), who combined for a match-winning partnership of 153 for the fourth wicket, the highest partnership for any wicket in an ODI at Kingsmead.

Winning the toss, Proteas skipper AB de Villiers opted for first strike on a pitch that had been the topic of discussion through the week, believed to be too dry to offer something to the Pakistan spinners.

That thought was soon shattered as Mohammad Irfan sent back Hashim Amla and Colin Imgram with the first two balls of the South African innings to have the men in green reeling at 0/2.

Graeme Smith (12) and Farhaan Berhardien (1) didn’t last long, and it was local boy David Miller (67) and De Villiers (70) who shared a fifth-wicket partnership of 115 that added some respect to what could have been a score well below par.

With the lower order chipping in with vital runs, the Proteas did well to see out their 50 overs and post a score that could be defended.

Irfan, Junaid Khan and Saeed Ajmal took three wickets apiece.

Pakistan’s innings was similar to the Proteas’, with early wickets needing a solid partnership. The early talking point was Mohammad Hafeez, who was given out for obstructing the field when he changed his running line as De Villiers aimed for the stumps at the far end for a run-out.

The incident was referred to third umpire Billy Bowden, who gave the decision.

At 33/3 Misbah joined Farhat and they gradually ticked off the runs needed.

When Misbah departed, superbly caught by a running Berhardien at mid-wicket, all eyes were on Farhat to see if he could reach three figures. He fell agonisingly short to another great Berhardien effort, his dismissal signalling a late flurry of wickets by the Proteas, which had the 15 554 spectators on their feet.

From 191-5, Pakistan tottered slightly at the final hurdle, losing two wickets with the end in sight to be on 227/7. The winning runs came in the 49th over.

Best with the ball for the Proteas was Robin Peterson with 2/46.

Said De Villiers: “Those two very early wickets did set us back and we finished at least 20 runs short. It was going to be a tough total to defend, but we had chances in the field which we never took or failed to capitalise on.

“It boils down to taking those chances in ODI matches and we never did. There’s all to play for now with two good sides involved.”

Misbah was happy with the win, calling it special. “We had a great start with the ball and batted well enough to win.

“The pitch was a little rough, with uneven bounce and pace, and it was not easy to bat on. As for Hafeez’s dismissal, he did not intend to impede AB as he had his back to him and it was ultimately the umpire’s call.”

On Sunday it would up to his team to focus on their strengths.

News from the Proteas camp is that Smith’s chronic left ankle injury is troubling him again. It was confirmed that he has been playing through the pain in the last three games and needs to rest to avoid the possibility of surgery. It’s likely he will be unavailable to play on Sunday.

Morné Morkel has recovered well, but lack of match time is a concern. He might play for the Titans against the Dolphins in tonight’s Ram Slam T20 clash at Centurion.

SCOREBOARD

South Africa innings

H. Amla c Kamran Akmal b Mohammad Irfan 0

G. Smith b Junaid Khan 12

C. Ingram b Mohammad Irfan 0

A. de Villiers c Kamran Akmal b Saeed Ajmal 75

F. Behardien c Kamran Akmal b Junaid Khan 1

D. Miller lbw b Saeed Ajmal 67

R. McLaren c Mohammad Irfan b Saeed Ajmal 11

R. Peterson not out 25

R. Kleinveldt b Mohammad Irfan 18

D. Steyn b Junaid Khan 9

L. Tsotsobe not out 5

Extra s: (lb-2, w-9) 11

TOTAL: (for nine wickets; 50 overs) 234

Fall of wickets: 1-0 2-0 3-34 4-38 5-153 6-170 7-177 8-207

9-221

Bowling: Mohammad Irfan 9-0-46-3 (2w), Junaid Khan 9-2-45-3

(1w), Mohammad Hafeez 10-0-40-0, Wahab Riaz 4-0-16-0, Saeed

Ajmal 10-0-42-3 (1w), Shahid Afridi 8-0-43-0 (1w)

Pakistan innings

Imran Farhat c Behardien b Steyn 93

Mohammad Hafeez obstructing the field 0

Kamran Akmal c Miller b Tsotsobe 11

Younis Khan b Kleinveldt 6

Misbah-ul-Haq c Behardien b Peterson 80

Shahid Afridi c De Villiers b Peterson 4

Shoaib Malik not out 19

Wahab Riaz run out 0

Saeed Ajmal not out 5

Extras: (b-1, lb-4, w-13) 18

TOTAL: (for seven wickets; 48.4 overs) 236

Fall of wickets: 1-2 2-18 3-33 4-186 5-191 6-226 7-227

Bowling: D. Steyn 10-3-26-1, L. Tsotsobe 9.4-1-51-1 (2w), R.

Kleinveldt 10-0-51-1 (5w), R. Peterson 10-0-46-2, R. McLaren

8-0-40-0 (6w), C. Ingram 1-0-17-0

Result: Pakistan won by three wickets

ODI series: Five-match series level 2-2

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