Skipper Misbah-ul-Haq (56) registered his fourth 50 in the ongoing cricket World Cup but that didn't stop South Africa from bowling Pakistan for 222 runs in 46.4 overs in a Pool B World Cup match at the Eden Park on Saturday.
Pakistan were decently placed at 197-5 in 40.1 overs when rain halted the play and it shortened the innings by three overs. After the rain, South Africa bowled exceedingly well and executed the slow bouncers and yorkers in the death overs to perfection.
Pace spearhead Dale steyn dismissed both the unbeaten batsmen Misbah and veteran Shahid Afridi (22) and the lower-order batsmen failed to contribute. Due to the Duckworth-Lewis rules, South Africa need 232 in 47 overs.
At the start, Ahmed Shahzad (18) perished early to pacer Kyle Abbot. But wicketkeeper-batsman Sarfraz Ahmed (49) did well to forge a 62-run stand with experienced Younis Khan (37).
Sarfraz, playing his first of the tournament, looked in fine form. Despite being promoted as a makeshift opener, he came up with good shot selections against both pace and spin. He milked five fours and three huge sixes before being run out at his personal score of 49.
Skipper Misbah, playing his final One-Day International (ODI) tournament, made full use of his experience. Even though Younis, Sohaib Maqsood (8) and Umar Akmal (13) perished in front of him, the 40-year-old once again rose to the occasion.
Mixing with ones and twos and odd boundaries, he kept the scoreboard ticking. He recorded his fourth half-century in five matches and also scored 42nd fifty before rain halted the play.
Afridi meanwhile played a cameo of 22 in 15 balls as the Proteas choked runs at the death overs.
For South Africa, Styen showed them the way by picking three crucial wickets, while fast bowlers Abbot and Morne Morkel picked up two wickets apiece. Leg-spinner Imran Tahir and de Villiers took a wicket each.
Highlights from the Pakistan Innings
46.4 overs | M. MORKEL TO S. KHAN
OUT! Pakistan's innings comes to an end! Pitched up ball on middle and leg, Sohail backs away and heaves it across the line but gets the toe end of the bat. The ball spoons high in the air towards mid off. Duminy settles under it and takes a fine catch to get Pakistan all out. PAKISTAN ARE RESTRICTED TO 222 as the Proteas bowl them out.
45.2 overs | D. STEYN TO R. ALI
OUT! Steyn gets his third scalp! Fullish ball on middle and off, Rahat backs away and looks to clear long off but does not get the elevation nor the timing as he just ends up forcing it through to mid off. Tahir runs back a bit to his right and takes a good running catch to end Rahat's short stay at the crease.
43.5 overs | D. STEYN TO MISBAH
OUT! Calm as a cucumber there Morkel! Bangs it in short outside off, Misbah leaps up and upper cuts it towards third man. Morkel stationed at the fence settles under it and takes a good catch near the ropes to dismiss the skipper. Pakistan after the rain delay has lost their third wicket now.
42.1 overs | I. TAHIR TO W. RIAZ
OUT! Another one goes down! Quicker and full on middle and off, Riaz gets down on one knee to sweep it but misses the line of the ball and the ball hits him on the pads. Tahir appeals and the umpire gives out straightaway. Riaz is not convinced though and he decides to take the review. Replays suggest the ball pitched in line and clips the off stump and thus the umpire's call stays and Riaz has to go.
41.4 overs | D. STEYN TO S. AFRIDI
OUT! Caught in the deep! Another short ball from Steyn and Afridi goes for the same pull shot but this time he gets a top edge. The ball goes high in the air and towards deep square leg where Duminy takes a simple catch. Steyn gets his first wicket and Afridi has to depart.
36.5 overs | M. MORKEL TO U. AKMAL
OUT! The Proteas strike at a crucial time again! Bangs it in short on off, Akmal goes for the pull but does not get enough on it as the ball flies towards mid on. de Villiers stationed there does not miss out on catches as he takes a good catch and Akmal has to take the long walk back. de Villiers was taken aback a bit as that ball traveled quicker than he expected but nonetheless a good catch in the end.
31.6 overs | K. ABBOTT TO S. MAQSOOD
OUT! Abbott strikes! A fraction short on off, Maqsood stands back and punches it to point but finds the fielder. Rossouw stationed there gobbles up his second catch and sends Maqsood packing.
26.4 overs | DE VILLIERS TO Y. KHAN
OUT! The skipper rolls his arm and guess what he gets a wicket! On a length on middle and off, Younis looks to work it to the on side but gets a leading edge. The ball flies towards covers where Rossouw is stationed and he takes the simplest of catches. Soft dismissal and just when Pakistan were looking good the Proteas strike.
16.4 | I. TAHIR TO S. AHMED
RUN OUT! What a sorry end to Sarfraz's innings! Fullish ball on middle and leg, Sarfraz tucks it towards deep square leg. Miller runs in and fires in a throw at the striker's end as Sarfraz comes back for the second. He puts in a dive but in the end the throw was too good as de Kock clips the bails and runs him out.
8.4 overs | K. ABBOTT TO A. SHEHZAD
OUT! Stunner from Steyn! On a length on middle and leg, Shehzad looks to works it across but gets a leading edge towards wide mid on. Steyn runs sideways and pulls of a blinder of a catch diving to his right. The Proteas get their first breakthrough..
Pakistan: Ahmed Shehzad, Sarfraz Ahmed, Younis Khan, Misbah-ul-Haq (capt), Sohaib Maqsood, Umar Akmal, Shahid Afridi, Wahab Riaz, Sohail Khan, Rahat Ali, Mohammad Irfan
South Africa: Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock, Faf du Plessis, AB de Villiers (capt), Rilee Rossouw, David Miller, Jean-Paul Duminy, Dale Steyn, Kyle Abbott, Morne Morkel, Imran Tahir
Referees: Richard Kettleborough (Umpire), Bruce Oxenford (Umpire), Chris Gaffaney (TV umpire), Chris Broad (Match referee)