Fakhar’s heroics in vain as South Africa beat Pakistan in second ODI

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Johannesburg: Opener Fakhar Zaman was a lone warrior for Pakistan as he smashed 193 runs, however, he couldn’t take Green Shirts past to South Africa’s 341.

The visitors managed to score 324/9 courtesy of a brilliant batting display by the 30-year-old Fakhar. His 155-ball innings included 18 fours and 10 sixes.

Pakistan had a blow early in the chase as they lost inform Imam-ul-Haq in the second over. Skipper Babar Azam joined Fakhar and showed a little glimpse of his sublime form.

Babar scored 31 off 33 until he was undone by Anrich Nortje’s pace. Soon after Babar’s dismissal, Mohammad Rizwan (0) nicked one to slip fielder Heinrich Klassen. The visitors wrer struggling at 71/3 in 11 overs.

Danish Aziz (4) was the fourth one to depart off Nortje while Shadab Khan also didn’t have the best of the outings in the middle.

A ray of hope emerged after Fakhar and Asif Ali consolidated in the middle and formed a partnership of 66 but Asif couldn’t continue for long and lofted one to Aiden Markram.

Fakhar continued to score and in the process, completed his century. He accelerated in the final ten overs, starting with a massive six and four of Nortje.

He smoked three consecutive sixes to Tabraiz Shamsi, giving fans and his teammates a glimmer of hope.

Fakhar looked a bit tired in the end while the run-rate kept elevating. Pakistan needed 38 runs off the last two overs.

In the last over, Pakistan needed 31 runs but the hopes were high of Fakhar completing his second double-century.

However, Fakhar was run-out on the first ball, leaving Pakistan to fell short of just 17 runs. Nortje was the pick of the bowlers for South Africa picking up three wickets in his allotted overs.

In the process, Fakhar registered a record for the highest ever score by a batsman in an ODI run chase.

Earlier, South Africa have posted a massive total of 341/6 to chase for Pakistan. Explosive David Miller smashed a powerful 27-ball half-century while captain Temba Bavuma, Rassie Van der Dussen and Quinton de Kock posted valuable fifties.

The hosts started the inning with a steady opening partnership between De Kock and Aiden Markram after Pakistan skipper Babar Azam once again opted to bowl first.

De Kock batted with composure while Markram scored at a faster rate. Markram was dropped by Mohammad Rizwan in the eighth over, however, he was soon removed by Faheem Ashraf. The right-hander made 39 off 34 balls, powered by four boundaries and two sixes.

De Kock was joined by Proteas captain Temba Bavuma who didn’t had a good first ODI with the bat. The duo looked to score at six-run per over and laid a perfect platform for a late order. They added 114 runs for the second wicket.

Pacer Haris Rauf provided a vital breakthrough, dismissing De Kock on 80. He smashed ten fours and a six in his 86-ball innings.

Inform Rassis Van der Dussen blasted once again and continued where he left at Centurion. Last match’s centurion batted at a strike-rate of 162 for his 60. He smashed six fours and four sixes.

On the other hand, Bavuma looked comfortable with chipping in singles. He scored 92 off 100 balls with the help of nine fours.

Meanwhile, David Miller had different ideas and did what he is known for. The left-hander smacked an unbeaten 27-ball fifty to lead South Africa to 341 for six as they look to level the series.

For Pakistan, Haris was the pick of the bowlers, claiming figures of three for 54 runs. Shaheen Shah Afridi, Mohammad Hasnain and Faheem Ashraf bagged a wicket each.

The three-match series is now level at 1-1 with the final match to be played on April 7 at Johannesburg, Wanderers.

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