Cape Town: Face-saving performances by two debutants saw Pakistan claim a sensational win 23-run victory on Sunday after getting a star-studded South African lineup out for just 195 runs in 48.1 overs. Debutants Anwar Ali and Bilawal Bhatti shone with impressive performances with both bat and ball.
Anwar claimed the two crucial wickets of Jacques Kallis and David Miller after making the top individual score from Pakistan’s side (43), and was awarded Man-of-the-match for his performance. The short but pacy Bilawal also snatched three wickets after smashing a 25-ball 39 to give Pakistan a total that looked defendable.
South Africa now trail the three-match series by 0-1. Chasing the relatively small target of 219, the Proteas suffered two early setbacks inside four overs as Hashim Amla got bowled off Junaid Khan and Graeme Smith fell prey to a a very tight stumping call off Mohammad Hafeez. Earlier, the visitors put up another lacklustre performance which had to be redeemed by their tail-enders.
An out of sorts lineup ended up with 131 for seven in 36 overs before a 74-run partnership between debutants Bilawal Bhatti (39) and Anwar Ali (43) rescued them at 131 for seven to take them to 218 in 12 overs.
After Pakistan had won the toss and opted to bat first, openers Ahmed Shehzad and Nasir Jamshed managed to hold the first wicket partnership for 49 slow runs.
But disciplined bowling from the South African bowlers ensured that wickets fell at regular intervals after the first partnership. Vice captain Mohammad Hafeez, who is now known for being rather partial to Dale Steyn, gifted the paceman his wicket once again. Jamshed was dismissed for 24, Shehzad for 35 and Hafeez for only five.
Neither captain Misbahul Haq nor Umar Akmal could contribute significantly, and were dismissed with scores of 13 and zero respectively. Promising youngster Sohaib Maqsood played a long, but slow innings on his way to 22 while Shahid Afridi lived briefly for his 26 runs, and proved nothing more than a cameo. But if anyone from the Pakistani unit showed the intent and power of genuine batters, it was ironically the series debutants Anwar Ali and Bilawal Bhatti.
Bhatti, who made his debut in the Twenty20 series that ended on Friday, smashed 39 from 25 balls with the help of two sixes, one against Kallis and the other against Morkel.
Anwar Ali stayed unbeaten at 43 from 55 balls with the help of six fours. The duo easily looked more fearless than any of the other batsmen in the Pakistan lineup. They were the highest scorers for Pakistan.
Earlier, South Africa welcomed return of veteran all-rounder Jacques Kallis for his first one-day international since February 2012, while Test captain Graeme Smith was also back in the side after missing the last three matches of the recent series against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates because of post-concussion syndrome.
Fast bowler Bilawal Bhatti was handed his first full one-day international cap for Pakistan following his impressive performances in a two-match Twenty20 series which was shared 1-1. Misbahul Haq, who was not part of the Twenty20 squad, returned to captain Pakistan.
South Africa had beaten Pakistan 4-1 in a one-day series in the United Arab Emirates that concluded earlier in November.