Excellent swing bowling from Wahab Riaz and Asad Ali set up Pakistan’s six-wicket victory over South Africa in a Champions Trophy warm-up match at The Oval on Monday.
The game did not carry full one-day international status,with the teams using their full 15-man squads. Sent in to bat,South Africa managed just 202 for nine in their 50 overs and Pakistan cruised to their target with six wickets and 27 balls to spare.
Ali claimed three for 30 in his 10 overs as he produced prodigious movement through the air early in the South African innings,and his figures were matched by Riaz who bowled an over less.
“It is pretty satisfying,the way Wahab Riaz bowled was the biggest plus for us,but everybody in the top order also scored runs,so we are pretty happy about that,” Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq said in a TV interview.
Ryan McLaren (55) and JP Duminy (43) were the only South African batsmen to find form as they battled against the moving ball. They came together with the score reading 83 for seven in 22 overs,and put on 94 in 22.3 overs to edge their score towards 200. Duminy struck just one boundary in his 91-ball 43 while McLaren was a little more positive,finding the fence six times in a 72-ball 55.
Pakistan never looked in trouble in their reply,with opener Imran Farhat (56) and Mohammad Hafeez (54 retired out) laying the platform for victory. South Africa may have sniffed a small window of opportunity when Lonwabo Tsotsobe dismissed Imran Farhat and Asad Shafiq within the space of two overs to leave Pakistan 156 for four,but Umar Amin and Misbah ended any hopes of a comeback with an unbeaten 51-run partnership,with the skipper ending the match with a six over long on.
“It wasn’t easy this morning,but I think we got out of it what we wanted. The boys toiled hard and were under pressure. We got over 200,which is a good effort in the end. All the bowlers then got a good run,which was important,” Proteas captain AB de Villiers said. South Africa begin their Champions Trophy Group B campaign against India in Cardiff on Thursday. Pakistan meet the West Indies in the same pool at The Oval on Friday.
BRIEF SCOREs: South Africa 202/9 in 50 overs (JP Duminy 43,R McLaren 55; A Ali 3/30,W Riaz 3/30) lost to Pakistan 207/4 in 45.3 overs (I Farhat 56,M Hafeez 54; L Tsotsobe 2/43)