South Africa vs Pakistan, 4th ODI: Pakistan level series with a crushing win
Pakistan produced a dominating performance to level the series in the 4th One Day International played at the Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg on Sunday. After electing to field, the Pakistani bowlers started well and dismissed the hosts for a low total of 164. In reply, Pakistan chased down the target with ease.
Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik won the toss and decided to field first. It was a brilliant start by Shaheen Shah Afridi as he dismissed Quinton de Kock and Reeza Hendricks in quick succession to put South Africa under pressure at 18 for 2. South Africa scored 32 for 2 at the end of 10 overs.
After the power play overs, Faf du Plessis and Hashim Amla steadied the innings with some good stroke play. Both of them played cautiously and put the bad balls away for boundaries. Amla reached his fifty off 59 balls while Faf du Plessis completed his fifty off 73 balls.
Shadab Khan got the important breakthrough as he dismissed Faf du Plessis for 57. Du Plessis and Amla added 101 runs for the 3rd wicket. The Pakistan bowlers then did not allow the South African batsmen to settle as they picked up wickets at regular intervals. Usman Shinwari was simply sensational and just took the game away from South Africa. Pakistan bowled out South Africa for just 164 runs in 41 overs.
Chasing the target of 165 runs to win, Pakistani openers Fakhar Zaman and Imam-ul-Haq gave the team a solid start. Zaman continued to play his shots but Imam was cautious. The pair added 70 runs for the opening wicket.
Fakhar Zaman was dismissed for 44 but Imam continued his superb form and reached his fifty in 67 balls. Imam was dismissed for 71. Babar and Imam added 94 runs for the 2nd wicket. Pakistan won the match by eight wickets with 111 balls to spare.
Brief scores: Pakistan 168 for 2 in 31.3 overs (Imam-ul-Haq 71, Fakhar Zaman 44, Babar Azam 41*, Imran Tahir 1/51) beat South Africa 164 in 41 overs (Hashim Amla 59, Faf du Plessis 57, Usman Shinwari 4/35, Shaheen Shah Afridi 2/24) by 8 wickets.