Pakistan and South Africa continue their ODI series in the United Arab Emirates on Wednesday in Abu Dhabi, with the series interestingly poised at 1-1 after matches in Sharjah and Dubai.
Venue: Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi
Date: Wednesday, November 6, 2013
Start time: 11:00 GMT
Live on: PTV Sport
Weather: According to Accuweather, there will be plenty of sunshine for this game in Abu Dhabi, with temperatures reaching 30 degrees Celsius.
The hosts made just 209 batting first and were indebted to Ahmed Shehzad’s 58 as just three other players reached 25.
Shahid Afridi enjoyed a late blitz, scoring 26 from 20 balls, but tailender Wahab Riaz was needed to push the score over 200, as he hit 18 from 24 deliveries.
Ryan McLaren was the leading wicket-taker for the Proteas, returning figures of 4-34 from his 10 overs.
Opening bowler Morne Morkel took 3-38, with Wayne Parnell and Imran Tahir taking one apiece.
In reply, South Africa had no reply to a disciplined Pakistan bowling attack, led by seamer Mohammad Irfan with 3-53.
Spinner Saeed Ajmal went at 1.87 runs per over to finish with figures of 2-15 from eight overs, while Afridi completed an impressive outing with 3-26 from 5.4 overs.
McLaren was the Proteas’ top scorer with 29 not out, but only JP Duminy and Wayne Parnell passed 20, as they were dismissed for 143, handing Pakistan a 66-run win.
Pakistan (from): Misbah-ul-Haq (capt) Ahmed Shehzad, Nasir Jamshed, Mohammad Hafeez, Umar Amin, Umar Akmal, Shahid Afridi, Saeed Ajmal, Abdur Rehman, Mohammad Irfan, Junaid Khan, Sohail Tanvir, Wahab Riaz, Sohaib Maqsood, Asad Shafiq, Sarfraz Ahmed
South Africa (from): AB de Villiers (capt), Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock, Jean-Paul Duminy, Faf du Plessis, Imran Tahir, Ryan McLaren, David Miller, Morne Morkel, Wayne Parnell, Robin Peterson, Vernon Philander, Graeme Smith, Dale Steyn, Lonwabo Tsotsobe.
Shahid Afridi remains one of Pakistan’s key players in ODIs and underlined that fact on Friday with a match-winning all-round display.
Afridi hit 26 from 20 balls with the bat and then took 3-26 to help his side win the game, and if he remains on good form, Pakistan will be incredibly difficult to stop in this series.
With his fast bowling and aggressive batting, Ryan McLaren is quickly establishing himself as a key cog in South Africa’s limited-overs team.
Already in this series, McLaren has a batting average of 37 and a bowling average of 17, showing how his all-round abilities have come to the fore, despite being in only his fifth year of international cricket.
If he continues his hot streak, the Proteas should be in a good position to take another victory and regain the momentum in this series.
Last time out, Pakistan showed that they can be a force to be reckoned with when everything goes right, especially when Shahid Afridi is on form.
The Proteas will have to be wary of him with bat and ball, especially given their struggles with spin in the previous game.
However, if they are able to dominate Pakistan’s bowling attack, and if their batsmen can find some form, South Africa should be able to pull out a crucial victory.