Cape Town - A century by Haider Ali helped Pakistan to a six-wicket victory over the South Africa under-19s despite Ruan Terblanche’s maiden century in the third youth One-Day International in Pietermaritzburg on Thursday.
The win gives the sub-continent side a three-nil lead in the seven-match series.
South Africa posted a competitive 276 all out in 49.3 overs thanks in the main to a composed 110 (off 134 balls; 12 fours) from Terblanche before Ali responded in commendable fashion, notching up a quicker than a run-a-ball ton. The opening batsman, who was crowned Man of the Match, blasted 116 runs off 111 balls (16 fours, 2 sixes) to take Pakistan to victory.
After winning the toss and electing to bat, Terblanche combined with Luke Beaufort (50) to give South Africa a solid start with the willow, recording a 116-run partnership for the second wicket after Andrew Louw (3) fell early. Terblanche and Beaufort brought up their fifties, with the latter reaching his maiden half-century, coming off 73 deliveries (8 fours).
Terblanche then teamed up with Khanya Cotani (30) and Akeem Minnaar (28) for pivotal 50-run stands respectively, to help propel the youngsters to the highest innings total of the series, despite Pakistan maintaining their record of picking up wickets to hinder the flow of runs at the backend of the innings.
The mature bowling attack, led by Abbas Afridi, who finished with figures of 4/40 and Shiraz Khan (3/66), claimed six wickets in the last four overs at the expense of just 31 runs.
Tasked with a target of 277 for victory, the tourists showed their experience and began on the front foot. The first-wicket partnership went for 51 runs between Ali and Saim Ayub (21) before the centurion anchored another 81-run stand with captain, Rohail Nazir (33). The right-hander then put on another 102 runs with Fahad Munir (50) to take the game away from the home side, with the pair scoring frequent boundaries.
The breakthrough finally came in the 35th over, with the SA under-19s striking twice in two balls to remove Ali and Munir but the damage was already done, with Pakistan getting over the line with 7.5 overs to spare.
Tiaan van Vuuren was the pick of the bowlers for the home side, grabbing two wickets for 49 runs.