South Africa v Pakistan, 2nd ODI, Centurion March 16, 2013

First ten overs decided the match - Misbah

ESPNcricinfo staff

Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq said his team had effectively won the Centurion ODI in the first ten overs of the South Africa innings, when the hosts had lost four wickets. Mohammad Irfan, the left-arm fast bowler, inflicted the maximum damage with figures of 4 for 33 to restrict South Africa to 191, which Pakistan chased within 40 overs to seal an emphatic win after a poor showing in the first one-dayer. AB de Villiers, the South Africa captain, said he was expecting a backlash from Pakistan.

"To take four wickets in ten overs was good," Misbah said. "That's where we won the game. Teams batting first struggle to come back from that."

Irfan removed Hashim Amla, de Villiers, Colin Ingram and Faf du Plessis in a lengthy opening spell that lasted seven overs to leave South Africa reeling at 62 for 5 in 11 overs. Misbah gave credit to the entire bowling unit, including the spinners, who didn't let South Africa recover. Misbah himself played an important part in the victory, scoring an unbeaten 57.

"We believed we would be able to come back and now we erased some doubts," Misbah said. "The bowlers supported Irfan, especially the spinners. There is more confidence in the team now, especially because some batsmen who were not scoring runs, did. We had some starts and wickets fell for 20s and 30s. We really needed to take responsibility and just go on."

De Villiers gave due credit to Irfan, whose spell had thwarted South Africa's plans of getting to a par score of 250. He said no team could afford to relax against an attack like Pakistan's.

"Irfan bowled really well and got wickets at important times. He really has the ability to get breakthroughs for his team. That's what makes a good bowler a great bowler. At the right moments, he got wickets," de Villiers said. "Pakistan have a very good bowling line-up and we've known that. It's not new to face them but we have to apply ourselves better."

De Villiers, too, conceded that the first ten overs had all but decided the match. "The important thing for the next game is to start better, to adapt and to assess better. The four down in ten overs is unacceptable in ODI cricket," he said. "Most teams would lose the match from there. We have to start better."

He said the Pakistan batsmen applied themselves better. "When we were fielding, the ball got a little bit wet which made it tough to swing away. If we got two more wickets, we would have been into the tail. We tried everything but Misbah played too well. He left really well. I tried all our seamers at different angles, I tried Robin Peterson and nothing worked."

De Villiers expected his side to bounce back in more seamer-friendly conditions at the Wanderers, the venue for the third ODI on Sunday. The one crucial setback for Pakistan is that Irfan has suffered a hamstring niggle, putting him in doubt for the third game.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on March 16, 2013, 19:15 GMT

    To bad Irfan is doubtful for the 3rd ODI, I do think Wahab Riaz can do a good job in these conditions as well he is quick and can swing it both ways.

  • Jimmy on March 16, 2013, 18:50 GMT

    Pakistan need to pick Wahab for next game. Umar gul should be rested. However, it depends on Irfan's fitness.

  • mohammad on March 16, 2013, 17:56 GMT

    Only way you can compete with strong SA team is to have a quality bowling attack to keep then under 200 as Pak can not chase more than that. Misbah got lucky in the last match as he and Malik were able to survive. That would not be possible in bouncy pitch. Pak do not have a single batsman to score easily against quality bowler in fast pitch.So, the best strategy is a 3 prong fast bowlers attack supported by 2 spinners and 1 allrounder. Here is my team : Irafn, Juaned, Riaz, Ajmal, Hafiz, Malik, rest batsmen. 3 pacers, 3 spinners with 2 all rounders. Send SA 3 TOP BATSMEN OUT IN 40 RUNS, TIGHTEN FIELDING AND BOWLING, keep score under 200. Very difficult to do for PAK team. DO IT OR LOOSE IT.

  • Arif on March 16, 2013, 16:52 GMT

    4-1 is still on.Pakistan lost to SA 4-1 when they toured SA under Waqar's captaincy.I remember, in their another tour to SA in last decade they lost that series too with 4-1.In both of these series' Pak won 2nd ODI comprehensivly but lost the other four matches cheaply.It seems like it is becoming a same pattern in ODI's whenever Pakistan tour SA.I am expecting the De-javu to happen again.

  • Faizan on March 16, 2013, 12:48 GMT

    Drop Gul and bring Riaz for the next match and the remaining matches.

  • Tanweer on March 16, 2013, 10:42 GMT

    Why have they left out Ahmad Shahzad from the ODI squad . He looked good in T20. He could be a good option given Akmals are consistent failure in ODI and asad not giving the result.

  • Naveed on March 16, 2013, 10:35 GMT

    Shudnt risk irfan as champions trophy is approaching fast. Wahab riaz shud be in for next match. Gul needs good couple of month off from cricket to recharge his battries. We need to shuffel batting a bit. Wudnt be a bad idea to move afridi up if we get a good start by openers.

  • saqib on March 16, 2013, 9:44 GMT

    @Nabeel Ahmed I am agree that Wahab deserves a chance, but for NJ not a good idea, he is the only new find in the line up and well settled as opener, only a few days remaining in upcoming ICC champions trophy and Pakistan team can't afford any experiment at the moment. Kamran Akmal is totally out-of-form. Pakistan need a solid start every time when they need a comfortable win and both NJ & MH are doing a great job. the problem is the middle order batting which is not firing, except the last game and I hope they will continue this form in the future. we need to remove an extra bowler and add a specialist batsman, that's it. you tell me what Afridi is doing there when we have S Malik, M Hafeez and Saeed Ajmal. this is South Africa and we need to strengthen the Fast bowling. we have three fast bowlers and rest of the job will be done by slower.

  • Arif on March 16, 2013, 9:07 GMT

    More credit to Shoaib Malik for playing more aggressive then Misbah. And he stayed with Misbah until the end, ensuring pakistan the victory. so more credit for Shoaib on the chase. While MOM is deserved to be Irfan. Hope he plays on sunday again.

  • Dummy4 on March 16, 2013, 8:46 GMT

    @ saqib_Sheraz pakistan should give chance to wahab and drop gul and also they should drop nasir and bring omar akmal and send akmal as opener with hafeez

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