South Africa vs Pakistan 1st T20: Rain Gods help South Africa escape with narrow win

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

De Kock smashed a quickfire 43

The rain Gods must have been on South Africa’s side during the first ODI in Johannesburg as the Proteas escaped with a narrow four-run win over Pakistan via the Duckworth-Lewis method to take a 1-0 lead in the series.

However, South Africa should also be thanking their opening pair of Hashim Amla and Quinton de Kock, who scored 31 and 43 respectively, for the blazing start they made.

After a short delay due to rain and a wet outfield, Pakistan captain Mohammad Hafeez won the toss and elected to bowl first.

However, he would have been pondering over whether he made the right decision as South Africa’s opening pair of Amla and de Kock got off to a magnificent start, amassing a 72-run partnership before Amla was clean bowled by Hafeez when attempting a full-blooded drive.

Amla’s brilliant innings of 31 came off 20 balls and included six boundaries.

Just as de Kock was on the verge of reaching his half-century, he was caught out at the long-on boundary for 43 off 33 balls, which included eight boundaries.

Henry Davids failed to make a major contribution with the bat as he was clean bowled by veteran all-rounder Shahid Afridi for just three runs.

Jean Paul (JP) Duminy had a poor showing with the bat as well as he was caught out at midwicket for 11 to give debutant Bilawal Bhatti his maiden Twenty20 wicket.

South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis managed to accumulate 22 runs before being caught out at mid-off.

Wayne Parnell only scored six runs before running himself out when going for a suicidal third run.

The run out also took a toll on Pakistan as Bhatti sustained a finger injury when collecting the ball to run out Parnell.

In an attempt to increase the scoring rate, Dale Steyn attempted an ugly heave, which only succeeded in being caught by Abdur Rehman, who was the substitute fielder, at third man.

Thanks to a quickfire 19 runs from David Miller and eight runs from Morne Morkel, South Africa eventually finished on 153/7 off their 20 overs.

Junaid Khan and Hafeez were the most successful Pakistan bowlers with two wickets apiece, while Bhatti and Afridi chipped in with one wicket each.

Chasing 154 to take a 1-0 lead in the series, Pakistan got off to a poor start as opening batsman Ahmed Shehzad chopped a delivery from left-arm pace bowler Lonwabo Tsotsobe onto his stumps to be dismissed for nine runs.

Nasir Jamshed managed to score 18 runs before he was out caught and bowled to Duminy.

Just as Pakistan seemed to be rebuilding from the loss of Jamshed, the heavens parted and the players rushed off the field.

With the rain refusing to relent, the umpires had no choice but to call off the match, which gave South Africa a four-run win via the Duckworth-Lewis method.

Tsotsobe and Duminy picked up one wicket apiece.

Leave a Reply