Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Ali’s heroics with the bat and ball earned him the Man of the Match award
Pakistan debutants Bilawal Bhatti and Anwar Ali blew South Africa away in the first ODI in Cape Town with their spectacular performances with both the bat and ball.
Bhatti scored 39 runs and took three wickets, while Ali smashed 43 runs and claimed two wickets.
Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq won the toss and chose to bat first.
His decision to do so paid off as Pakistan’s opening pair of Nasir Jamshed and Ahmed Shehzad put together a 49-run partnership before Jamshed edged a delivery from Dale Steyn to Jacques Kallis, who was playing in his first international match in 20 months, in the slip region.
Steyn picked up another wicket in his next over as Mohammad Hafeez edged the ball straight to Hashim Amla at first slip.
After managing to score 35 runs, Shehzad was caught behind off the bowling of Kallis.
Shehzad’s dismissal led to the Pakistan’s entire middle order collapsing.
However, there were rescued by a 74-run partnership between Bhatti and Ali.
Thanks to Bhatti and Ali’s outstanding partnership, Pakistan were able to post a modest total of 218 at the end of their 50 overs.
Bhatti ended up scoring 39 off 25 balls, which included three boundaries and two sixes, while Ali remained unbeaten on 43 off 55 deliveries, which included six boundaries.
Steyn and Morne Morkel both picked up three wickets apiece, while Kallis snapped up two and Vernon Philander chipped in with one.
Chasing a relatively straightforward target of 219, South Africa got off to a poor start as Amla was clean bowled by Junaid Khan for just three runs.
Amla’s opening partner, Graeme Smith was dismissed the very next over as he was stumped by Umar Akmal off the bowling of Hafeez for only 12 runs.
South Africa wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock fared no better as he was cleaned up by Bhatti for 19 runs.
Things went from bad to worse for the Proteas as skipper AB de Villiers was cleaned bowled by veteran all-rounder Shahid Afridi for 10 runs.
Kallis managed to register a half-century before having his stumps shattered by Ali.
Kallis’ brilliant knock of 50 came off 71 balls and included five boundaries and a six.
David Miller could only amass four runs before he was caught behind to become Ali’s second victim of the day.
Philander managed to muster up 14 runs before being caught by Shoaib Maqsood at backward point off the bowling of Saeed Ajmal.
Duminy was able to claw his way to 49 before attempting a reverse sweep off the bowling of Ajmal, which was caught by Akmal.
Duminy’s valiant knock of 49 came off 70 balls and included four boundaries.
Steyn scored a quickfire 15 before being bowled by Bhatti.
South Africa were eventually bowled out 23 runs short of their target when Morkel was cleaned up by Bhatti.
Bhatti was the most successful Pakistan bowler with three wickets, while Ali and Ajmal picked up two wickets apiece and Khan, Hafeez and Afridi chipped in with one wicket each.
Ali edged out Bhatti for the Man of the Match award