ICC World Cup 2015: South Africa need 232 to beat Pakistan
Auckland, March 7 (IANS) Skipper Misbah-ul-Haq (56) registered his fourth 50 in the ongoing cricket World Cup, but that didn't stop South Africa from bowling Pakistan for 222 runs in 46.4 overs in a Pool B World Cup match at the Eden Park here on Saturday.
Pakistan were decently placed at 197-5 in 40.1 overs when rain halted the play and it shortened the innings by three overs. After the rain, South Africa bowled exceedingly well and executed the slow bouncers and yorkers in the death overs to perfection.
Pace spearhead Dale Steyn dismissed both the unbeaten batsmen Misbah and veteran Shahid Afridi (22) and the lower-order batsmen failed to contribute. Due to the Duckworth-Lewis rules, South Africa need 232 in 47 overs.
At the start, Ahmed Shahzad (18) perished early to pacer Kyle Abbot. But wicketkeeper-batsman Sarfraz Ahmed (49) did well to forge a 62-run stand with experienced Younis Khan (37).
Sarfraz, playing his first of the tournament, looked in fine form. Despite being promoted as a makeshift opener, he came up with good shot selections against both pace and spin. He milked five fours and three huge sixes before being run out at his personal score of 49.
Skipper Misbah, playing his final One-Day International (ODI) tournament, made full use of his experience. Even though Younis, Sohaib Maqsood (8) and Umar Akmal (13) perished in front of him, the 40-year-old once again rose to the occasion.
Mixing with ones and twos and odd boundaries, he kept the scoreboard ticking. He recorded his fourth half-century in five matches and also scored 42nd fifty before rain halted the play.
Afridi meanwhile played a cameo of 22 in 15 balls as the Proteas choked runs at the death overs.
For South Africa, Steyn showed them the way by picking three crucial wickets, while fast bowlers Abbot and Morne Morkel picked up two wickets apiece. Leg-spinner Imran Tahir and de Villiers took a wicket each.
Brief scores: Pakistan 222 in 46.4 overs (Misbah-ul-Haq 56, Sarfraz Ahmed 49; Dale Steyn 3/30, Morne Morkel 2/25, Kyle Abbot 2/45) vs South Africa.