Pakistan in South Africa, 5 ODI Series, 2019
Venue: St George's Park, Port Elizabeth
Date & Time: 19 January 2019
RR: 5.43 | Pakistan beat South Africa by 5 wickets
This was the perfect start Pakistan could have asked for after their defeat in the Test series. It was a clinical performance from them and they will be pleased with it. South Africa may have lost, but there certainly are positives to take for them from this game, along with the lessons. The next game takes place on Tuesday, in Durban, at 1300 local (1100 GMT). Do join in for that. Cheers!
Pakistan skipper, Sarfraz Ahmed, says the credit goes to the bowlers first. Also applauds Imam-ul-Haq and Babar Azam for the way they played. Reckons that they won the game in the middle when the spinners kept it tight and never let the opposition get away with the game. On his captaincy, he says he's always been an animated character and that's how he'll always be.
Man of the Match, Mohammad Hafeez, says it was a great team effort as they first restricted South Africa to a decent score and then chased it down. Mentions that if you win the first game of the series, it always provides good momentum. States that they were always confident after restricting South Africa to 266 and after the start the openers gave, the task became much easier.
South Africa skipper, Faf du Plessis, says they were 10-15 runs short and rues the fact that they couldn't capitalize on the foundation laid by Hashim Amla and Rassie van der Dussen. Credits Pakistan for pacing the chase well and admits there are lessons to take from this game. On Hashim Amla, he says he's found some form since the Test series and also applauds Rassie van der Dussen for the way he played. Adds that these are positive signs, especially with the upcoming World Cup in mind. Continues saying that they needed to adapt to the conditions better, like Pakistan did, particularly in the middle overs, and that is something they should learn from.
South Africa, after posting a below par total on the board, couldn't get the early wickets they needed. And couldn't stem the flow of runs in the middle overs either. The Pakistan top order put its side in a comfortable position, which in turn helped the experience in the middle order to take the visitors home. A few wickets did fall in quick succession towards the end, but the game was more or less over by then. Earlier in the day, South Africa made their way to 266 on the back of a Amla hundred and a van der Dussen 93, but despite that, they couldn't post a score which would be enough.
Despite it going to the last over, it was a commanding win for the Men in Green. The task wasn't that difficult to begin with, but the Pakistan top order made that job that much easier. The openers added 45, and after Zaman's departure, Imam (who missed out on a ton) carried the torch forward. He made two superb partnerships with Azam and Hafeez worth 94 and 46 respectively, which more or less sealed the deal. Hafeez then came in, used his experience, shouldered the responsibility well and saw his side home, remaining unbeaten on 71.
Duanne Olivier back into the attack.
Kagiso Rabada is back into the attack.
Shadab Khan to bat now.
Review time. Huge moment. Skipper Sarfraz has been caught leg before and been given out. He's taken the DRS quickly. This looks close. Let's see what happens.
Sarfraz Ahmed walks out to the middle next.
Andile Phehlukwayo is called back on.
Powerplay 3 signalled. A maximum of 5 fielders will be allowed outside the ring till the end of the match. Also, Imran Tahir to have a change of ends.
Dwaine Pretorius returns to the attack.
Shoaib Malik to bat next.
Change of ends for Olivier.
One ball left in this over. Can Tahir provide the breakthrough?
Imran Tahir comes back on to bowl.
Duanne Olivier is brought back into the attack.
Stumping appeal is referred upstairs. Mohammad Hafeez is the man in question. Not much buzz about this one though.
Mohammad Hafeez is the new man in. Also, Dwaine Pretorius is back on to bowl.
Reeza Hendricks to have a go with the ball. Faf du Plessis is looking for some inspiration, maybe this will be the one that makes the difference.
Kagiso Rabada is back for another spell.
First sign of spin. Imran Tahir into the attack for the first time today.
DRINKS! Pakistan are going well so far with the loss of just one wicket. The hosts will look to tighten things up now with spin.
Andile Phehlukwayo to have a go with the ball.
Powerplay 2 signalled. A maximum of 4 fielders can be kept outside the ring till the 40th over.
Babar Azam walks in at no.3.
Change of ends for Duanne Olivier.
Dwaine Pretorius comes into the bowling attack.
Is Zaman gone? He's been caught at point, but remains to be seen whether it's gone purely off the helmet or is there some involvement of the bat. South Africa have reviewed it.
Debutant, Duanne Olivier to bowl from the other end with the second new ball.
We are back. Fakhar Zaman and Imam-ul-Haq to open the innings for Pakistan in this chase. Kagiso Rabada to start with the new ball.