fast little loans
SuperSport Park, Centurion
South Africa 191 all out (43.2 overs)
Pakistan 192/4 (39.2 overs)
Pakistan win by six wickets
Series tied 1-1
Centurion - Pakistan put themselves back in contention for this One-Day International series with a comfortable victory that had its origins in a dominant first hour of play when their aggression with the ball overwhelmed South Africa.
Were it not for Farhaan Behardien and Robin Peterson, South Africa’s innings may not have attained respectability.
The top order was ripped to shreds by a thunderous spell by the 2.15m Mohammad Irfan, who, having missed the first match in Bloemfontein, was instrumental in reducing South Africa to 62/5 after 11 overs.
Behardien spoke this week about the confidence he gained from his knock in the first match, and it certainly appeared that way as he compiled an innings very different in nature.
In Bloemfontein he was tasked with ‘finishing’ the innings and took 14 balls to make 34. On Friday he faced a far harder job, having to consolidate and then rebuild the innings.
That saw him share partnerships of 44 for the sixth wicket with Ryan McLaren and then 67 for the seventh with Peterson.
Behardien had initially sought to transfer the pressure back onto Pakistan with the first 30 runs of his innings coming at better than a run-a-ball, but as the need grew to bat through the innings so he tempered his approach.
Pakistan’s attack was much more balanced than the spin-heavy unit they utilised in Bloemfontein, with Irfan – who replaced Asad Shafiq in the starting line-up – giving them much-needed punch with the new ball.
Irfan finished with career-best figures of 4/33 and the early in-roads he made – which included a terrific catch off his own bowling to end Faf du Plessis’ stay at the crease – paid dividends for the spinners, who were able to keep control of South Africa’s scoring rate.
Behardien was dismissed shortly before the teams went off the field for the storm which halted play for two and half hours and led to the game being reduced to 44 overs a side.
It was Behardien’s first ODI half-century and he was out trying to accelerate the innings for 58 (124m, 82b, 5x4).
After the rain delay with their innings set to last just six more overs and with only three wickets in hand, there was the bizarre sight of Dale Steyn blocking 16 balls and then being dismissed without scoring as South Africa attempted to see out the 44 overs.
Had they done so, Pakistan would have chased a target adjusted according to Duckworth/Lewis .
As it was, they were bowled out inside the adjusted 44 overs and Pakistan were asked to chase an easy target of 192.
While Steyn produced a typically aggressive spell that included dismissing Hafeez for the fifth time in five innings on this tour, the rest of the seam bowlers, while bow-ling straight and with plenty of discipline, lacked the expertise to make the Pakistani batsmen feel like they were in danger.
It showed that getting Morné Morkel back to full fitness is vital because he adds an attacking threat that Lonwabo Tsotsobe, Ryan McLaren and Kyle Abbott don’t possess.
Morkel was bowling before the game started and is expected back for the fourth match in Durban on Thursday.
Rory Kleinveldt, who missed Friday’s match with a rib injury, will be assessed today to see if he’ll be ready for Sunday’s third match at the Wanderers.
Misbah ul-Haq carefully guided his side across the line with the 21st half-century of his career, getting good support from Hafeez (31), Younis Khan (32) and Shoaib Malik (33*).
The South Africans fought hard, but ultimately the target was too small.
The innings turned decisively Pakistan’s way in the 32nd over when Malik hit Tsotsobe – again disappointing when returning for a second spell – for four boundaries.