Pakistan in South Africa, 5 ODI Series, 2019
Venue: SuperSport Park, Centurion
Date & Time: 25 January 2019
RR: 5.66 | South Africa beat Pakistan by 13 runs (D/L method)
That's it from this one. A tough night to forget for Pakistan as they did most things right, but the rain changed the situation and one bad phase pegged them back. South Africa lead the series 2-1, but there are plenty of things they'd like to right in the fourth game in Johannesburg. It takes place on Sunday at 1000 local (0800 GMT). See you for that one. Goodbye!
South Africa captain, Faf du Plessis, says they were below par with the ball and quite flat in the field. Goes on to say that the guys are trying their hardest though and pushing for that World Cup spot. Adds that Ngidi's injury has given them the chance to look for that extra/back-up fast bowler to go with the three they already have and these games are good opportunities to check that out. On the team combination, Faf admits that many players (Like Markram and Hendricks) fighting for one spot, and that even Duminy is yet to return, are all one of those good problems to have. Continues saying that every series is a learning curve and they are becoming quite composed as a batting unit, in realizing when to go for it and when to take a step back. On the bowling, he says there's room for improvement. Ends by saying that the main area they need to focus on is the fielding and that's what they'll try to improve in the next game.
Man of the Match, Reeza Hendricks, says he is happy to have contributed and be on the right side of the result. Reckons that their mentality was good but despite the rain, they only focused on their game and not the DLS calculations. Says that he's been feeling good and scoring a few boundaries early helped him settle in well and find some rhythm. Adds that he only tried to take it slow, letting himself ease in and then taking it from there. States that he doesn't think about the World Cup spot in the team and just wants to do his best in each game he plays.
Pakistan captain, Sarfraz Ahmed, says his batsmen did really well but his bowlers couldn't get the wickets which is why they lost. Credits how the South African batsmen played but laments the poor showing of his bowlers on this surface (after the rain interruption). Mentions that they will work on their weaknesses and try to do better in the next game.
Earlier in the day, Pakistan had a superb outing with the bat after electing to bat. Imam-ul-Haq, who silenced his critics with a finely-crafted ton, was the nucleus of the innings as everything revolved around him. He had two people in Babar and Hafeez, making their fifties along the way, as the opener made vital partnerships with them. Wasim came towards the end and his fantastic cameo catapulted his side to a good total, but Pakistan were eventually undone by the rain gods.
The two rain interruptions were like two sides of a cassette, and on both occasions, Pakistan couldn't wait to get back out for different reasons - the first one came before the 20-over mark and a no-result would have been disappointing for them. And the second time, it was after Hendricks and du Plessis blew them away with their brisk century stand and the hosts were ahead of the DLS par score. The wet conditions didn't help as the ball came nicely onto the bat. It eventually proved to be enough as the Saffas got the victory.
An unfortunate end to what was shaping up to be a close and exciting contest. South Africa started off well with Amla and de Kock fluently going about their business, but the former's soft dismissal off Hasan Ali's bowling and some brilliant work in the field from Shadab to get rid of de Kock brought the momentum back in the visitors' favour.
Update 2138 local - The official word is in. It's not one anyone is going to like. No more play can be possible and as a result of that, SOUTH AFRICA WIN BY 13 RUNS ON DLS METHOD.
Update 2105 local - Here's the deal - the rain had stopped, the covers were off, some overs were reduced and we were about to begin, but the heavens opened up again and literally rained on everyone's parade.
And.... it happens! The covers are brought on by the groundsmen. Raining pretty heavily now. The players have gone off the field. We're in for another frustrating wait. By the way, the DLS par score is 180, and South Africa are comfortably ahead.
Coming down really hard now. Might be just a matter of time before play is stopped again. In the meantime, Imad Wasim is back on to bowl.
Mohammad Amir to bowl again. Also, it has started to rain again. Uh oh!
Shaheen Afridi returns to the attack.
Shadab Khan brought back on.
Change of ends for Imad Wasim.
Hasan Ali back on.
So here we go. Faf du Plessis and Reeza Hendricks will continue, while Imad Wasim finishes his pending over.
Update 1917 local - The covers are off! Good news for us all, as the wind has swept the clouds away from the ground. The players have started warming up too, we should have play resumed shortly. No overs will be lost.
The rain has started to come down heavily now and as a result, the groundstaff has charged out on the field with the covers. The players are asked to go off, as PLAY HAS BEEN TEMPORARILY SUSPENDED DUE TO RAIN. We haven't got to the 20-over mark yet, so the no-result situation could still occur. A reminder - South Africa need to get to 116 at the end of the 20 without losing another wicket to win this contest.
It has started to drizzle and Pakistan are trying their best to get in as many overs as possible. The spinners are rushing through their overs. As I'm typing, the rain is picking up its intensity. Won't be long before the covers will come on.
Skipper Faf du Plessis is the new man in.
Shadab Khan on to bowl now.
The wind has really picked up now. The staff and even the people in the crowd are finding it difficult to keep a hold of their things. Big storm coming it seems.
Powerplay 2. At the most 4 fielders can be outside the ring till the 40th over.
Reeza Hendricks walks in at no.3.
Hasan Ali into the attack.
Imad Wasim to roll his arm over.
Dark clouds are surrounding the stadium. This could spell bad news...
The floodlights are switched on now.
Breeze is picking up.
Shaheen Afridi to bowl with the second new ball.
Welcome back for the run chase. Hashim Amla and Quinton de Kock, the trusted opening pair for South Africa, is back. 318 for a win. Mohammad Amir to kick off proceedings with two slips in place. Here we go...