Proteas stumble against resurgent Pakistan

2017-06-07 18:18
David Miller (Getty Images)

Cape Town - It was a day to forget for the Proteas' batsmen as they struggled to cope with a resurgent Pakistan attack, posting 219 for 8 in their Champions Trophy encounter at Edgbaston.

LIVE: Proteas v Pakistan

The Proteas got off to an excellent start, racing to 40 without loss off 8 overs before a change in bowling worked in Pakistan's favour when Hashim Amla was trapped in front by left-arm spinner, Imad Wasim, for 16 off 20 balls. 

Quinton de Kock then had a lucky escape in the 12th over when he was struck on the pads by Mohammad Hafeez and although the bowler wanted to review, Pakistan opted not to.

It was a mistake with replays showing the ball would have indeed have hit leg stump.

Hafeez had his man in his next over, however, this time the umpire agreeing that the ball would have indeed cannoned into the stumps after De Kock missed a sweep shot. He was out for 33 off 49 balls.

And then things went from bad to worse for the Proteas as their innings was plunged into trouble when captain AB de Villiers flashed at a wide Imad delivery. Unfortunately, he managed to pick out the fielder at backward point and was gone for a golden duck.

Amazingly, this was the first golden duck of his ODI career, and just his second duck in the shorter format since 2013. 

Faf du Plessis (26) was joined by David Miller and the pair took their time in rebuilding, pushing the total to 90 before Du Plessis got an inside edge onto his own stumps off seamer Hasan Ali in the 23rd over. 

JP Duminy and Miller again started the process of rebuilding but just as with the previous partnership, a wicket fell just as the Proteas were showing signs of resurgence.

This time it was Duminy (8) who managed to steer Ali straight into the waiting hands of Babar Azam at a wide slip.

In walked Wayne Parnell who lasted just one delivery, comprehensively castled by Ali who now had 3/10 in four overs, leaving the Proteas in dire straits. 

It was left to Miller and Chris Morris to try and build a respectable total, something for the Proteas bowlers to work with and perhaps more importantly, make sure that South Africa batted out their overs. 

The pair batted circumspectly with the occasional flurry, putting on 47 for the seventh wicket before Morris was caught at long-on for 28 off the bowling of Junaid Khan, leaving the Proteas at 165/7 with still seven overs remaining. 

Miller, in the meantime, had gone on to a very well played half century off 83 balls with two sixes. 

Miller, who ended with 75* off 104 balls and Rabada (26) did well at the death, getting the Proteas over the 200 mark with Rabada again showing that he has real potential with the bat. 

Whether the Proteas have enough on the board remains to be seen.

A good bowling effort is certainly needed if they want victory, however. 

Imad (2/20) and Ali (3/24) were the pick of the bowlers for Pakistan.


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