SA v Pakistan
Proteas wilt as Razzaq blooms
Abdul Razzaq (Gallo Images)
Johannesburg - Abdul Razzaq blasted the South African death bowlers all over the place to lead Pakistan to a one-wicket win with a ball to spare to level the ODI series at 1-1 with three matches to play.
The all-rounder smashed 7 fours and 10 sixes on his way to an unbeaten 109 off 72 balls – his third ODI century and his second against South Africa.
The Proteas, defending a target of 287, seemed to have the match well under control when they had Pakistan 4/70 in the 19th over.
Fawad Alam (48 off 68 balls with 3 fours) and Shahid Afridi (49 off 40 balls with 3 fours and 2 sixes) started the recovery but they still needed 151 in 21 overs when Razzaq came to the crease.
He simply teed off and his boundary count gave him 88 runs off only 17 balls!
The South African death bowling figures told their own story. Charl Langeveldt took 3 wickets to take his ODI total to 100 but conceded 75 runs while Albie Morkel went for 52 runs in 4.5 overs.
The Proteas will have at least been heartened by another fine batting effort. They probably had a target of 300 runs in mind but a total of 286/8 on a surface that posed challenges nevertheless represented a very substantial total.
The first ball of the match bounced twice before it reached the wicketkeeper – and this from a bowler of Shoaib Akhtar’s pace – and the batsmen had to deal with uneven bounce throughout the 50 overs.
The Proteas were also without both Graeme Smith and Jacques Kallis and what was essentially a young batting outfit and in some areas an inexperienced one did exceptionally well.
Hashim Amla who punished the opening attack of Shoaib and Razzak when they strayed wide of the off stump and Colin Ingram set up the total with a second wicket partnership of 84 and there was further consolidation when Ingram and AB de Villiers added 86 for the third wicket.
Amla made 65 off 62 balls with 8 fours while Ingram went on to his second ODI century in only 5 appearances before being trapped by a superb Wahab Riaz Yorker for exactly 100 (119 balls, 10 fours and a six).
The dismissal of Ingram to the first delivery of the batting power play started a poor period for the Proteas in which they lost 3 wickets for 20 runs in the designated 5 overs including their specialist power hitters, David Miller and Albie Morkel.
JP Duminy displayed a much better idea of how to handle the situation as 45 runs were scored in the final 5 overs through intelligent placement of the ball without taking risks and superb running between the wickets.
Duminy was out two balls from the end of the innings for an excellent 54 off 41 balls, beating his previous best against Pakistan of 44 in the process.
The Proteas innings included 25 fours and 2 sixes and one of the biggest positives was the manner in which they handled the home side’s two main spinners, Shahid Afridi and Seed Ajmal, who between them took 2/94 in 15 overs.
Wahab was the pick of the Pakistan attack, standing out with his late reverse swing in the batting power play overs to finish with 2/43 from his 10 overs.