Pakistan v South Africa, 4th ODI, Dubai November 5, 2010

Pakistan secure another one-wicket thriller


Pakistan 275 for 9 (Younis 73, Hafeez 42) beat South Africa 274 for 6 (Smith 92) by one wicket
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

A classic one-day series will have a deciding encounter after Pakistan produced another nerve-jangling run chase in Dubai to clinch a second one-wicket victory in the space of two matches with one ball to spare. Zulqarnain Haider struck the winning run after just about managing to keep his head as everyone else lost theirs, and South Africa will be left to wonder how they let another match slip away.

When Morne Morkel removed Abdul Razzaq in the 47th over, having also bagged Younis Khan for a measured 73, the game, and the series, was in South Africa's grasp with Pakistan needing 31 off 23 balls, but again their bowling and fielding couldn't cope under pressure. Graeme Smith, back leading the side after missing two matches with a hand injury, spilled a tough chance from Wahab Riaz and then Dale Steyn, who was playing his first international of the season, conceded 12 off the 48th over as two short balls were pulled past short fine-leg.

South Africa messed up a chance to run out Wahab when Johan Botha produced a wild throw from the outfield as he came back for a third, then in the penultimate over another chance was missed when Morkel hurled the ball past the stumps from his follow through and two overthrows ensued. Amid all the drama, it left Pakistan needing four off the last over but a final twist seemed almost inevitable, and duly arrived when Wahab was finally run out.

It meant Haider was on strike with three needed from three balls and he levelled the scores with a chip over midwicket as Parnell missed the chance to win the game for South Africa by failing to flick the ball into the stumps. The next delivery was short on leg and, after the manic scenes, it was a relatively calm nudge to square leg which sealed the result.

It was breathless cricket, the third game in a row that had shown how much the 50-over game still has to offer. There was proper, conventional batsmanship from Younis and Smith, innovative striking from Botha, quality fast bowling from Morkel and Shoaib Akhtar and impressive spin played out in front of a crowd that grew after the sun had gone down.

Chasing 275 was always going to be tough but this was a better surface than for the third game, which had been too slow to enable clean strokeplay. Younis, who only hit one boundary, was carrying his team into a winning position alongside Razzaq as the pair added 49 for the sixth wicket with the batting Powerplay still up their sleeve. It was the ideal combination to complete the chase - Younis' calmness alongside the brute force of Razzaq - but Morkel removed Younis via an inside edge and two balls later Abdur Rehman was run out in a hopeless mix-up.

Pakistan had been ahead, or within touching distance, of the asking rate throughout the chase but South Africa had kept chipping away. What made the final disintegration of their fielding so surprising was that it was shaping as the difference between the teams. Younis and Asad Shafiq added 56 for the third wicket before Shafiq was run out by a direct hit from mid-on by Wayne Parnell, then Shahid Afridi - who took three boundaries in an over off Steyn to kick-start the innings - was brilliantly caught at long-off by Parnell as he tried to launch Botha into the stands.

Imran Farhat had fallen in the first over, trapped lbw from around the wicket by Morkel, but Mohammad Hafeez set a positive tone and latched onto the extra pace of Steyn, who returned after a lengthy absence. It was fascinating viewing as Steyn worked through the gears and Hafeez was winning the early battles with a string of boundaries.

Steyn had his revenge when Hafeez tried to whip a straight delivery through the leg side and was comfortably leg before. Ultimately, though, his 10 overs cost 79 runs, the second most expensive analysis of his career, and questions will again be asked about how South Africa bowled in the closing overs, especially as Rusty Theron, who kept his nerve in the previous match, was left out.

Smith had a far more productive return to action although his lay-off had only been two games after taking a blow on his hand in the opening encounter in Abu Dhabi. He was soon back in the grove and eased to a 57-ball half-century, adding 94 for the third wicket with de Villiers, who laboured against Pakistan's spinners in a boundary-less 70-ball innings.

Smith missed out on a hundred when he tried to work Hafeez through the leg side, and for a while South Africa lost momentum as Wahab put himself on a hat trick by yorking JP Duminy and David Miller. Botha responded with a string of clever boundaries, including two reverse sweeps off Hafeez and a brace of scoops over short fine-leg against Wahab. The impetus was back in South Africa's camp, but it's been impossible to predict the outcome in this series and this was to be another thriller to the end.

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on November 8, 2010, 23:42 GMT

    I am extremely concerned now for the tests. mohammed yousuf is totally out of form, we dont have asif or aamer, kaneria was not cleared to play in the tests, and who knows whats going to happen to zulqairnain haider now. Also shoaib definitely wont last bowling in a test match, since he can barely do the ten overs in one days. i guess younus khan, mohammed hafeez, razzaq, and wahab are our only hopes now

  • Dummy4 on November 8, 2010, 7:52 GMT

    do you all want to see the Aamir back in the side or not. please stopped degrading Pakistan Team..... and there key players .... this is my request to the ICC and BCCI and specially to PCB.. just let them play... BCCI is the king underworld of cricket world Maphia..... IPL, CPL these are all match fixing and a big gambling.... where is the case of Lalit Modi..... why they quite....... ICC and INDIA not like that Pakistan will come up...... this is the big alarm for PCB after players.... it will be there turn....... GOD is looking he have just to pull slightly the robe than no one have a chance to save themselfs. Pakistan do anything will be fined and become the scandle..... if other team do anything against the law no action no fine no issue,,,,,,, Well Done ICC well Done BCCI and Salute to PCB to support them and helping them well to spoil the Pakistan Cricket from top to bottom.. Dear Imran Khan this also your country problem apart from politics. please safe our cricket at your best

  • Dummy4 on November 7, 2010, 17:14 GMT

    yaar what ever you guys say but unfortunatly its true... I'm not trying to say anything or hurting unity of Pakistan but you people should know whats happening, everybody know what has happened to players from Karachi over the years.. please open your eyes and try to do something about it...

  • Dummy4 on November 7, 2010, 16:09 GMT

    yea like samuditha aid thumbs up from Sri Lanka its always good to see a fellow neghbouring country win!! keep up the form to the world cup!

  • Dummy4 on November 7, 2010, 15:35 GMT

    amazing win and i enjoyed this match. we want such competetive match.

  • Fizza on November 7, 2010, 12:50 GMT

    why on earth are ppl wishing for the akmal bros to come back? The only reason we're winning is cause they're aren't any groupers like malik, akmals, misbah in the team right now. Yep zulqarnain n Asad Shafiq might not be the most talented. But at least they're LOYAL!! It's better 2hv lesser talented players who r honest n loyal, than talented ones who just group!!

  • Noor ul on November 7, 2010, 12:17 GMT

    Fiaz Jan those are really silly comments. I would support Fawad in the team because of his fielding & batting. In my opinion he is not the finisher so should play in top order. He is good in taking singles and twos which a lot of Pakistani players don't do. He is very handy. I don't know why people still think on Karachi / Punjab lines. Come out of this mentality.

  • Dummy4 on November 7, 2010, 11:17 GMT

    yes i agreed that the cricket is the game of unity and co ordination with mutual understanding. the green shirt team is Pakistan Team not a sindh punjab or pakhtoon team..... please make your heart strong just for Pakistan... thank as Pakistani no differentiate..... it is very important that we have to be unitedly think about it.... look how cricket world maphia spoiled shoaib akhtar and now they are behind to Mohammad Aamir... ICC and BCCI dont want to see the Pakistan in Final of upcoming world cup.... so they are ruin pakistan team very badly..... they know the Aamir is the GOD gifted bowler so dont let him go up..... and its very sad to say that our baseles PCB board not taking any initiative to safe them..... all the cricket teams of the world afraid to Pakistan.... specially INDIA without any doubt.... they are coward.... no problem...... GOD is great for us.... its enough... just note down that the Amir Asif will be not allowed to play till World CUP 2011 due to BCCI ICC & PCB.

  • King on November 7, 2010, 11:00 GMT

    This is why one day internationals must be kept.

  • Syed on November 7, 2010, 7:48 GMT

    I am not favouring Fawad Alam but people in his forum repeatedly criticizing him for playing slowly in the last overs that cost Pakistan the match by 2 runs. Well if that is the criteria then what they have to say about Farhat inning, Afridi irresponsible innings in 3rd and 4th one day, and about Younus slow innings in 4th one day had Wahab Riaz catch not dropped by Smith and had we lost the match by 2 runs. Wahab hammering by Botha after he took two wickets. What about our fielding nobody talks about it we gave easy singles and ones converted into two's, Nobody admire Fawad of his fielding and Nobody is talking about our useless coaches and their mentoring ability to young players. Look at Tendulkar he has highest number of centuries in Test and ODI but a very few are match wining inning. In this context the record of Laxman, Sehwag or Inzamam is better than him. So it did not matter that your effort always win you matches, but your contribution in team count a lot.

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