Pakistan have breathed life into their Champions Trophy 2017 campaign, as they beat the world number ODI side South Africa by the Duckworth-Lewis (DLS) method at Edgbaston on Wednesday (June 7).
Chasing 220 for victory, Pakistan were 19 runs ahead of the par score before the heavens opened upon the Edgbaston surface to call it a day. Shoaib Malik was not out on 16, that included three fours, while Babar Azam made unbeaten 31.
After last Sunday’s humiliating defeat at the hands of arch-rivals India, Pakistan put up a vastly improved bowling effort to restrict South Africa to 219, with fast bowler Hasan Ali taking three wickets. Junaid Khan, who was included in the side in place of injured Wahab Riaz, also picked up two crucial wickets.
If it wasn’t for David Miller playing intelligently to make 75*(104) and give his side some sort of a chance, South Africa might only manage a total close to 150. The 27-year-old had to shell his attacking style of play to ensure his side play their allotted quota of 50 overs, after the Proteas were reduced to 188-6 at one stage. Chris Morris (28) and Kagiso Rabada (26) were able to provide some company to Miller as South Africa finished on 219.
In reply, Pakistan got off to a flying start courtesy a quickfire 31 from the debutant Fakhar Zaman, who was caught at first slip off Morne Morkel. By the time rain interrupted the proceedings, Mohammad Hafeez (26) and Azhar Ali (9) had already made their way back to the pavilion, both accounted by Morkel.
Both South Africa and Pakistan now have 2 points from 2 games and will play their must-win, last game on June 11 and 12 respectively.
“It’s a very important win for us. Credit goes to our bowlers and fielders. We were good in all departments today. Steve Rixon was very happy today, we didn’t field well the other day, today we were much better. It’s a very important game. We had a meeting and a very good meeting. We worked very hard, the one practice session we hard. It was not outdoors, but we worked really hard for the match.” Sarfraz Ahmed, captain Pakistan, said.
“They bowled pretty well, put us under pressure. We lost some wickets, which wasn’t a great response for us, but we recovered well thanks to David and a few other guys who put up partnerships. We fought really well on the field, got into a very good position. Whether it was par score or not doesn’t matter. It’s a difficult situation, you never know what to do. If I had known it would only be 27 overs, I would have attacked a lot more on the field. We have to up our ante a bit. We started well, we know which areas to work on.” AB de Villiers, captain South Africa, said.
Pakistan 119 for 3 (Babar Azam 31*, Morne Morkel 3-18) beat South Africa 219 for 8 (David Miller 75*, Quinton de Kock 33, Hasan Ali 3-24) by 19 runs.