DURBAN: Pakistan beat South Africa by three wickets in the fourth One Day International (ODI) keeping the series alive.
Pakistan and South Africa ODI series stand two-all with the final decider to be played on March 24.
Pakistan was almost exactly in the same situation in the beginning of the innings, at 34 for 3, as South Africa who were at 33 for 3.
Mohammad Hafeez became the first batsman in international cricket to be dismissed obstructing the field under the new laws.
It was up to Farhat and Misbahul Haq to do what AB de Villiers and Miller did but the Pakistani duo ended up on the winning side.
Misbahul Haq now has the record for making the highest runs by any Pakistani captain against South Africa in an ODI. He won the man of the match award.
Towards the end of the innings, Pakistan’s batsmen tried to snatch loss from the jaws of victory by losing four wickets in close succession.
After losing three early wickets Pakistan came back strongly to win the match.
Earlier, Pakistan’s fast bowlers struck and off-spinner Saeed Ajmal ended a promising fightback by South Africa in the fourth one-day international at Kingsmead on Thursday.
South Africa, leading the five-match series 2-1, struggled to 234 for nine in their 50 overs, despite fourth wicket stand of 115 between captain AB de Villiers (75) and David Miller (67).
South Africa’s troubles started early when the tall left-armer Mohammad Irfan took wickets with the first two balls of the match. He had Hashim Amla caught behind, then bowled Colin Ingram with a yorker.
Fellow left-armer Junaid Khan followed up with the wickets of Graeme Smith and Farhaan Behardien as South Africa slumped to 38 for four after winning the toss.
De Villiers and Miller gave the home side hope of making a good total before Miller missed a sweep against Ajmal and was out after a career-best innings.
Miller’s 67 was scored off 77 balls and he hit seven fours.
His dismissal came nine balls before the batting power play and South Africa’s hopes plummeted when De Villiers was caught behind when he was adjudged to have gloved a sweep against Ajmal after making 75 off 108 balls with five fours.
The off-spinner had Ryan McLaren caught in the deep as the power play yielded just 17 runs for the loss of two wickets.
Ajmal took three for 42 in ten overs, while Irfan claimed three for 46 in nine and Junaid took three for 45 in nine.
Earlier, South Africa won the toss and chose to bat at the start of the fourth One-Day International (ODI) against Pakistan, on Thursday, Express News.
This is the first ODI in Durban since 2007. South Africa begins with a 2-1 lead against Pakistan in the five match series.
The Proteas have replaced injured player Faf du Plessis with David Miller while Pakistan have dropped Nasir Jamshed in favour of Imran Farhat who was cleared as “fit”. Umar Gul though misses out having been declared “unfit” for the match.
Pakistan hold the record for the highest innings total at Kingsmead. Their 351 for 4 in the 2006-07 included Shahid Afridi’s score of 77 off 35 balls. They went on to beat South Africa by 141 runs.
The last time South Africa won two consecutive ODIs in a series was more than a year ago, when they beat New Zealand 3-0 in February-March 2012.
Pakistan: Imran Farhat, Mohammad Hafeez, Kamran Akmal†, Younis Khan, Misbah-ul-Haq*, Shoaib Malik, Shahid Afridi, Saeed Ajmal, Junaid Khan, Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Irfan.
South Africa: AB de Villiers (capt, wkt), Graeme Smith, Hashim Amla, Colin Ingram, David Miller, Farhaan Behardien, Ryan McLaren, Robin Peterson, Rory Kleinveldt, Dale Steyn, Lonwabo Tsotsobe.
Umpires: HDPK Dharmasena (Sri Lanka) and S George
TV umpire: BF Bowden (New Zealand)
Match referee: AJ Pycroft (Zimbabwe)
Reserve umpire: M Erasmus
Correction: An earlier version of this story had misspelled Imran Farhat’s name. The error is regretted.
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