Imam, Hafeez steer Pakistan to victory over South Africa

Ruben Hill
January 20, 2019

Senior campaigner Mohammad Hafeez helped his nerves to guide Pakistan to victory in their first one-day against South Africa on Saturday.

Yet based on evidence on paper, it is not that straightforward to specifically finger either of Amla or Van der Dussen - the latter now sports the distinction of half-centuries on both Twenty20 worldwide and ODI first appearance - for South Africa ending short of where they would have wished; former skipper Shaun Pollock later said he felt they were anywhere between 20 or 40 runs shy of registering a safer total.

Imam-ul-Haq faced 101 deliveries and struck five fours and two sixes while Babar Azam's handy 49 came off 79 balls.

He shared an opening stand of 82 with Reeza Hendricks (45), before adding a decisive 155, for the second wicket, with Van der Dussen.

Ahmed said he was determined to make a good start to the series on a ground where Pakistan are unbeaten in three previous matches against South Africa, with two wins and a no-result.

At least partly because of the welcome discipline and gumption of the Pakistani attack as a collective, boundaries failed to flow toward and in the "death" overs for the Proteas and by the time the traditionally hard-hitting David Miller got to the middle, it was really too late for him to be hugely effective.

Man of the match Hafeez said: "We were confident because we knew 266 was not a par score on this track. The first win of the series is very important".

Bowlers Shadab Khan and Hasan Ali took the wickets but crucially kept the South Africans in check with economy rates of less than five an over.

Two more wickets fell cheaply before Hafeez and Shadab saw their side home, maintaining an unbeaten record for Pakistan in five one-day matches in Port Elizabeth, four of them against South Africa.

Amla and Reeza Hendricks (45) put on 82 off 105 balls for the first wicket before Van der Dussen made a slow start in his first one-day global, taking ten balls to score his first run.

Van der Dussen made 93 runs off 101 with six boundaries and three sixes to his name before he was caught at deep mid-off by Shoaib Malik off Hasan Ali's bowling. Amla made his runs off 120 balls with seven fours and a six.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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