AB de Villiers won the toss and elected to bat first, little did he know that this decision would soon turn into a nightmare for his team. South Africa could only manage 219 for 8 from their full quota of 50 overs. Pakistan defeated the world no.1 South Africa on D/L method by 19 runs.
Captain Sarfraz got it right in this match when he decided to introduce Mohammad Hafeez early on in the innings. South Africa are known to be ordinary against spin and Hafeez is deadly against left-handers. Quinton de Kock was struggling to score freely: on the last ball of the 14th over he missed out on a sweep shot on a straighter delivery from Hafeez, and was given out leg before wicket.
Today, Pakistan did everything right which they forgot to do against India in their opening game. We saw a clinical display of bowling from the fast bowlers early on, then Sarfraz made the clever bowling changes time and again. He brought Imad Wasim as first change in the 9th over, and he struck gold immediately by dismissing Hashim Amla on the second ball of his over. Then Hafeez was given the ball who took Quinton de Kock’s wicket and later when Hassan Ali was introduced into the attack in the 23rd over, he got the wicket of the dangerous Faf du Plessis just on the second ball. The Pakistani fielders were on point throughout the match, stopping crucial runs and holding on to all the catches. To top this all, Junaid Khan and Mohammad Amir displayed brilliance in the death overs of the innings; they persisted with the yorker ball after ball giving South African batsman no chance to score freely.
Imad Wasim got rid of the maestro Hashim Amla in the first over of his spell and continued to trouble the Protea batsmen. South Africa were struggling to get a move on when AB de Villiers came out to bat, they were 60 for 2 after 14 overs. In the 15th over Imad Wasim bowls a flat and wide delivery first up to AB who sliced it straight into the hands of Hafeez at backward point. AB de Villiers first ever golden duck in ODIs proved to be the turning point of the match.
Hassan Ali was nothing short of brilliant today. He got rid of JP Duminy and Wayne Parnell back to back in the 29th over, South Africa at that point were118 for 6. On the 5th ball of the 29th over- Hassan went around the wicket to JP Duminy, bowled full and forced Duminy to drive but all he could manage was a thick outside edge to the wide first slip fielder. Thankfully the captain understood the importance of keeping a slip in order to create pressure. On the 6th ball of the 29th over- Hassan chose to go around the wicket to Wayne Parnell as well, the ball was angled in and hit the the top of off-stump leaving Parnell perplexed. It has to be one the deliveries of the tournament.