The Proteas pulled off a tight one-run victory over Pakistan at Sharjah on Wednesday to go 1-0 up in the 5 match ODI series.
Proteas looked easily out of the picture as Pakistan needed 19 runs for victory with six wickets and 55 balls in hand at one stage. But they lost their last six wickets for 17 runs off 31 balls. This was largely the result of the combined efforts of Imran Tahir and Lonwabo Tsotsobe who took two wickets between them off successive deliveries and in all three wickets off eight balls with Tsotsobe being on a hat trick at that stage.That opened the way for a big collapse and the innings was polished off by the combined efforts of Imran and Morne Morkel.
The finishing efforts of the Proteas would not have been possible without the all-round form of Man-of-the-match Wayne Parnell. His maiden ODI half-century (56 off 70 balls, 6 fours and a six) enabled the Proteas to recover from 129/8 to 183 all out. His partnership of 52 for the ninth wicket with Tsotsobe (a career best 16 not out off 42 balls, 1 four and 1 six) was a South African record against Pakistan.
Tsotsobe deserves full credit for the way he supported Parnell and kept up his end giving nothing away.
The disappointment for the Proteas will be their batting performance that saw them lose their first five wickets inside 19 overs. Saeed Ajmal and Afridi did major damage with 7 wickets between them. Ajmal’s fourth and final wicket was his 150th in ODI cricket.
Both teams will now meet on 1st November for the 2nd ODI. With a change in month,pakistan will hope for a change in their fortune too.