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Pakistan’s Fakhar Zaman scores sensational 193 in vain as South Africa set up ODI decider
- Updated: April 6, 2021
Fakhar Zaman’s sensational innings of 193 from 155 balls came in vain as South Africa held on in a thriller to take their three-match ODI series with Pakistan to a decider.
Pakistan seemed out of contention as they slipped to 120-5 in the 25th over of their chase of 342 – only for opener Fakhar to turn the game on its head with a superb fifth ODI ton and the highest score at Johannesburg.
The left-hander brought up three figures from a fairly sedate 107 balls but then blazed another 90 runs from his next 48 deliveries in an innings featuring 10 sixes and 18 fours as he scored 162 more runs than Pakistan’s next highest-scorer Babar Azam (31).
Fakhar’s onslaught – which included three sixes in a row off spinner Tabraiz Shamsi in the 44th over – left Pakistan requiring 38 from 12 balls with two wickets in hand but Andile Phehlukwayo then shipped only seven runs from the 49th over meaning the tourists needed 31 from the last.
Fakhar was then run out from the first ball of Lungi Ngidi’s final over in bizarre fashion, with Aiden Markram completing a direct hit from long-off as Proteas wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock pointed to the bowler’s end as if the ball was heading in that direction, deceiving Fakhar.
Mohammad Hasnain struck fours from the final two balls but Pakistan – who won the series opener at Centurion on Friday off the last delivery – ended on 324-9 to lose by 17 runs, making Wednesday’s third and final game back at Centurion a winner-takes-all clash.
South Africa appeared on course for a routine victory when they picked up five wickets before the halfway stage of the innings, with Anrich Nortje (3-63) following his four-wicket haul on Friday with a further three on Sunday, including Babar and Mohammad Rizwan (0) in his first over.
Fakhar then threatened to take Pakistan to a series-sealing win but could not quite achieve that, or a second double ton in his ODI career, due to Markram’s accurate throw as he looked to complete a second run.
De Kock (80) had earlier been one of four South Africa batsmen to pass fifty in his side’s 341-6 in the annual pink ODI, which aims to raise funds for and awareness of breast cancer treatments.
South Africa captain Temba Bavuma top-scored with 92 while Rassie van der Dussen (60 off 37) and David Miller (50no off 27) made quick-fire contributions after the Proteas were inserted.
Bavuma – who had to change his bat after the back of his initial blade broke off as he defended a delivery from Faheem Ashraf early in his innings – shared 100-plus partnerships with De Kock and the free-scoring Van der Dussen for the second and third wickets respectively.
The 30-year-old looked set for a second ODI ton and first since being named white-ball skipper in March, only to fall eight runs short when he was caught late on off a short ball from Haris Rauf (3-54).
Miller brought the impetus at the death, striking 18 of the 19 runs South Africa managed in Shaheen Shah Afridi’s final over as he thumped the paceman for two fours and a six and completed his quick-fire half-century from the final ball of the innings with a scampered two.
Miller’s fifty was his 16th in ODI cricket, with De Kock completing his 26th, Bavuma his second and Van der Dussen – who averages 80.90 from 23 one-day internationals – his eighth.
Rauf was the most prolific and most economical of the Pakistan bowlers with his wickets including bowling De Kock with the first ball of his second spell, while he also took a superb catch at short fine leg to remove Heinrich Klaasen (11) and earn Shaheen his sole scalp of the day.
Babar – in early after Imam-ul-Haq (5) was out to Ngidi in the second over of the chase – looked in excellent touch, albeit that he was dropped on 13 by Miller at backward point.
However, Nortje then removed Babar and Rizwan in the 11th over to reduce Pakistan to 71-3, with Bavuma catching Babar at midwicket after a juggle and Rizwan edging through to Klaasen at slip.
Nortje then made Danish Aziz (9) his third scalp of the day as Pakistan slipped to 85-4, before wrist-spinner Shamsi pinned Shadab Khan (13) lbw to make it 120-5.
Phehlukwayo (2-67) later accounted for Asif Ali (19) and Faheem (11) while Kagiso Rabada caught and bowled Shaheen (5) but Fakhar – dropped on 172 by Bavuma – kept on swinging to keep Pakistan in with a chance of a staggering win before the hosts eventually completed the job.
Source: Sky Sports