Chasing 235 to win,Pakistan were 47 for two in 17 overs against South Africa in their crucial Group B Champions Trophy match on Monday. Nasir Jamshed (21) and Shoaib Malik (8) were at the crease for Pakistan,as both the sides need to win the contest to remain in hunt for the semifinals Pakistan lost Imran Farhat (2) and Mohammed Hafeez (7) early in the innings. With South Africa again without injured strike bowlers Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel,Pakistan had a good chance of chasing 235 but debutant Chris Morris had other ideas. He scalped both the wickets to fall.
Earlier,a measured 81 from opener Hashim Amla couldn’t prevent injury-hit South Africa from stumbling to 234-9 in its Champions Trophy day-nighter against Pakistan at Edgbaston. Despite the good start,the Proteas’ innings wobbled after progressing to 145-2 in the 32nd over. Amla’s departure was soon followed by those of the dangerous AB de Villiers (31) and JP Duminy (24),two of four run-outs in the innings,and Pakistan managed to tie down the middle order in the tight final seven overs.
Home away from home
Pakistan could easily have been playing in Lahore or Karachi given the backing the team received. With barely a South African flag in sight,the crowd was a sea of green-and-white flags and jerseys with loud roars and blows on hooters after each chance,wicket or appeal.
Initially,though,there was little to cheer about as the South African innings trundled along courtesy of the solid Amla,who was on course for his 12th ODI century before messing up a reverse sweep off Saeed Ajmal and sending the ball looping up to Muhammad Hafeez at short third man. Amla’s 97-ball knock included nine fours. Colin Ingram (21) and Faf du Plessis (28) had already departed by then,but there was still hope for the Proteas with De Villiers,the top-ranked batsman in ODIs,at the crease.
However,just as the captain was starting to blossom on a run-a-ball 31,he was run out by Misbah ul-Haq after slipping mid-crease when the chance of a quick single was turned down by Duminy at the other end. Thirteen balls later,Duminy himself was also run out by the sprightly Misbah courtesy of another direct hit,and South Africa had stalled on 195-5 after 43 overs.
Misbah capped a brilliant fielding display by diving to his left at extra cover to snaffle David Miller (19) in the final ball of the next-to-last over. Chris Morris and Aaron Phangiso were run out in the final three balls as part of an economical last over by Wahab Riaz that went for just three runs,leaving Pakistan on top.
brief scores: South Africa 234/9 in 50 overs ( H Amla 81,AB de Villiers 31; M Irfan 1/27) vs Pakistan 47/2 in 17 overs