Image courtesy of: Zimbio
Hasan Ali’s three-wicket haul proved crucial in keeping Pakistan’s Champions Trophy campaign alive as they beat South Africa by 19 runs via the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method at Edgbaston.
Electing to bat first, South Africa got off to a solid start before opener Hashim Amla was trapped lbw off the bowling of Imad Wasim for 16.
Things began to go awry for the Proteas when Quinton de Kock and captain AB de Villiers were removed in the space of five balls for 33 and a golden duck respectively.
Faf du Plessis managed to make 26 runs before he was clean bowled by Hasan, who then went on to take out JP Duminy and Wayne Parnell in successive deliveries.
With South Africa reeling at 118/6, David Miller and Chris Morris temporarily stemmed the bleeding with a 47-run partnership before Morris was dismissed by Junaid Khan for 28.
Miller and Kagiso Rabada continued to lead the Proteas’ recovery with a 48-run stand, during which Miller sailed past his fifty, before Rabada fell for a career-best 26.
Miller ended up making 75 off 104 balls, which included a boundary and three sixes, as South Africa finished on 219/8 off their 50 overs.
Image courtesy of: Zimbio
Hasan was the pick of the bowlers with three wickets, while Wasim and Junaid snapped up two wickets apiece. Mohammad Hafeez, meanwhile, chipped in with one.
Chasing 220 to win, Pakistan got off to a brisk start before debutant Fakhar Zaman was dismissed by Morne Morkel for a 23-ball 31.
Morkel struck again two balls later, sending Azhar Ali back to the pavilion for just nine runs.
Hafeez and Babar Azam steadied the ship with a 52-run partnership before Hafeez, who made 26, became Morkel’s third victim.
Just as Azam and Shoaib Malik were beginning to rebuild the innings, the rain came and the players had to go off the field.
With the rain refusing to relent, Pakistan were declared the winners as they were 19 runs ahead of the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern par score of 100 after 27 overs.
Azam finished on 31 off 51 balls, which included four boundaries, while Malik remained undefeated on 16 off 14 deliveries, which included three boundaries.
Morkel was the only bowler to take any wickets.
De Villiers was gutted to have lost, and said: “They bowled pretty well, put us under pressure. We lost some wickets, which wasn’t a great response for us, but we recovered well thanks to David and a few other guys who put up partnerships. We fought really well on the field, got into a very good position.
“Whether it was par score or not doesn’t matter. It’s a difficult situation, you never know what to do. If I had known it would only be 27 overs, I would have attacked a lot more on the field. We have to up our ante a bit. We started well, we know which areas to work on. The hamstring is okay, felt a little tweak, but we’ll check it out tomorrow. I don’t think it’s too serious.”
Pakistan skipper Safraz Ahmed was over the moon to have bounced back from the loss against India, and said: “It’s a very important win for us. Credit goes to our bowlers and fielders. We were good in all departments today. Steve Rixon was very happy today, we didn’t field well the other day, today we were much better.
“It’s a very important game. We had a meeting and a very good meeting. We worked very hard, the one practice session we had. It was not outdoors, but we worked really hard for the match.”
Hasan was named Man of the Match, and said: “It was a team effort. Coach gave me a plan, and I just stuck to that. I dropped Yuvi in the previous match and he scored a lot. We all worked very hard on our fielding. It was raining, so we didn’t really do any fielding practice before the match. It’s very important for me, getting this award, because it’s my first ICC event.”