A treat for Pakistan after the nightmare in Test series against South Africa as they finally got off the mark in this tour after beating the hosts in the first match of the five-match ODI series by five wickets.
Batting remained the blow for Pakistan during the recently concluded Test series but this time around the batsmen in green showed their dominance and defied all odds to take their side over the victory line.
Be it, Babar Azam, Imam-ul-Haq or Mohammad Hafeez all played responsibly and made sure to complete the run chase for Pakistan. In a search to reach to 267 runs to win the first encounter, Pakistan started off well with their openers Imam-ul-Haq and Fakhar Zaman. The opening pair didn’t last long at the crease but upcoming batsmen equally played their role.
Imam played a handy knock of 86 runs off 101 balls to once again prove his mettle in one day format. Immensely criticized for his Test performance, Imam struck five fours and two maximums.
Babar supported Imam well as they both put 94 runs together on third wicket partnership. Babar fell just a run short to his half-century which brought Hafeez to the crease who named man-of-the-match for his blistering 63-ball 71.
In bowling, Pakistan looked a bit shaky in the start as they were facing difficulties to take wickets. This is for the first time in the history of Pakistan’s cricket that they won an ODI match taking just two wickets.
All praises for Hasan Ali and Shadab Khan who bowled quite brilliantly in middle overs to restrict well-set batting duo of Hashim Amla and Hendrik Dussen from hitting big shots. In the last 10 overs, Amla just scored just 28 runs to complete his 27th century. Both youngsters took one wicket each.
All things went quite smooth for Pakistan as far as the results were in their favor but the important thing here is that how they will manage to plan things for the second clash scheduled on January 22. All eyes on South Africa because they will surely be looking to level the series.
With a good bowling combination, South Africa can create a problem for tourists in their next meeting. Let’s see how revenge-hungry South Africa plan things to overcome confident filled Pakistan in the second ODI.