The Proteas restricted Pakistan to 203 despite a sensational late half-century from Hasan Ali in the second ODI in Durban. KHALID MOHIDIN reports.
As expected, the Kingsmead pitch proved tricky to read. It was a slow and spongy strip that sucked the energy out of the ball, which added to the tennis ball bounce it produced.
This made shot selection key and patience essential to post a decent innings total.
Pakistan were put in to bat first and were immediately tested, losing two wickets for 37 runs within the first nine overs.
Rabada was lethal in his first five overs. He remained consistent and frustrated the Pakistan batsmen by persistently bowling in good areas at the top of off-stump and mixing it up with the occasional short ball. He first removed Imam-ul-Haq (five), followed by Babar Azam (12). Both batsmen were cramped up in their crease trying to play the hook shot and looped the ball to deep mid-wicket.
The Proteas took further control of the contest when Andile Phehlukwayo fooled the dangerous Mohammad Hafeez (nine) with a pitched-up full delivery that he chipped to Faf du Plessis at mid-wicket.
Duanne Olivier stuck to his preferred method of attack and backed in a short delivery – Fakhar Zaman’s attempt to fend the delivery away saw the ball hit the splice of the bat and loop to David Miller at gully to end his innings on 26. This reduced Pakistan to 54-4 after 14 overs.
Shadab Khan looked focused for his 18, but a lapse in concentration saw his attempt to sweep Tabraiz Shamsi find the safe hands of Rassie van der Dussen at deep mid-wicket.
Pakistan found themselves in serious trouble at 85-5 after 21.4 overs.
Shamsi then set up the stumping of Hussain Talat to knock them down to 92-6, and Phehlukwayo made it 107-7 when he dismissed Shoaib Malik (21) with another short delivery that was pulled to deep mid-wicket.
Faheem Ashraf was fooled by Shamsi’s googly and trapped lbw for a duck as Pakistan were reduced to 112-8 in 32 overs.
Hasan Ali (59 off 45 balls) proceeded to play a magnificent knock to blast his way to a second ODI half-century. He smashed five fours and three sixes, and with the help from his skipper, Sarfaraz Ahmed (41), the pair strung together 90 runs for the ninth wicket to lift Pakistan past 200.
Ali was the final wicket to fall as Phehlukwayo picked up career-best figures of 4-22, although it took an exquisite catch on the straight boundary from Du Plessis to end what had been an amazing innings.
Pakistan 203 – Hasan Ali (59), Sarfaraz Ahmed (41); Tabraiz Shamsi (3-56), Andile Phehlukwayo (4-22)
Photo: Anesh Debiky/Gallo Images