Pakistan win series in thriller

Graeme Smith (Gallo Images)
Graeme Smith (Gallo Images)
Port Elizabeth - Junaid Khan has bowled a superb last over to enable Pakistan to beat the Proteas by one run and to secure a famous series victory in the second ODI at St. George’s Park in Port Elizabeth on Wednesday.

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The Proteas needed nine runs going into the last over but Junaid managed to shut the Proteas out, conceding only seven runs in the process.

It is the first time that Pakistan has beaten the Proteas in a bilateral ODI series in South Africa although they did win all three ODI’s against South Africa in a triangular series that also included the West Indies in 1993.

As a result the Proteas failed to qualify for that final in which the West Indies beat Pakistan. Pakistan’s victory was set up by their top order for the first time in the seven matches they have played against the Proteas in the last few weeks.

Man of the match Ahmed Shehzad, who scored his third ODI century (102 off 112 balls, 8 fours and 2 sixes), and his first against South Africa, set up the victory in a partnership of 124 for the third wicket off 130 balls with Sohabi Maqsood after they had been sent into bat in a match shortened to 45 overs per side after heavy early morning rain.

Shehzad eventually ran himself out which probably helped give the Proteas a slightly easier runs chase than might otherwise have been the case. Nevertheless a target of 263 in 45 overs equated to a chase of nearly 300 in a full 50 overs.

Dale Steyn stood out head and shoulders above the rest of the South African attack with a career best 6/39 which included an opening spell of 2/10 in 4 overs and an equally impressive 1/11 in three batting power play overs.

The Proteas appeared to have the chase well in hand when Hashim Amla and Quinton de Kock set the platform with a second wicket partnership of 87 in 17.1 overs.

 The Proteas then appeared to have the game won when Amla and AB de Villiers shared a partnership of 106 off only 77 balls that included 53 runs in the power play overs and 14 runs off the over that preceded it.

When De Villiers was dismissed, the Proteas had a very comfortable equation of less than a run a ball and six wickets in hand.

But the rest of the middle-order was not able to carry it through as Pakistan conceded only nine runs in the last two overs from Junaid and Saeed Ajmal.

Amla fell two runs short of his 11th ODI century (98 off 131 balls, 7 fours).

The Proteas will now be playing for pride in the final ODI at SuperSport Park on Saturday.

Pakistan won the first ODI by 23 runs in Cape Town on Sunday.

Teams:

South Africa: GC Smith, HM Amla, Q de Kock (wicketkeeper), JH Kallis, AB de Villiers (captain), JP Duminy, DA Miller, R McLaren, DW Steyn, LL Tsotsobe, Imran Tahir

Pakistan: Ahmed Shehzad, Nasir Jamshed, Mohammad Hafeez, Sohaib Maqsood, Misbah-ul-Haq (captain), Umar Akmal (wicketkeeper), Shahid Afridi, Bilawal Bhatti, Saeed Ajmal, Junaid Khan, Anwar Ali
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