AB hits 50 as SA lose close game
AB de Villiers hit 75 (108b, 5x4) to help South Africa post a competitive 234/9 against Pakistan in the 4th ODI at Durban on Thursday.
AB had walked in to face the third ball of the SA innings, a hattrick ball after having elected to bat first just half an hour ago. Pakistan’s 7 ft fast bowler Mohammad Irfan had SA in deep trouble 0/2, sending back Hashim Amla and Colin Ingram with the first two deliveries of the game.
Graeme Smith and Farhaan Behardien couldn’t hang around either but de Villiers steadied the innings in a 115 run partnership with the injured Faf du Plessis’ replacement, David Miller (67, 77b, 7x4) for the 5th wicket. Saeed Ajmal rocked the middle order as SA slid from 153/4 to 177/7 but Robin Peterson and the tailenders did enough to ensure SA reached 234/9 at the end of their 50 overs.
Mohammad Hafeez was given out for obstructing the field, Kamran Akmal flashed at a short and wide ball and Younis Khan was bowled as Pakistan slid to 33/3 in the 11th over. Misbah ul Haq (80) and Imran Farhat though rebuilt with a patient 153 run partnership for the 4th wicket.
Robin Peterson struck terror briefly with the wickets of Misbah and Shahid Afridi in the 42nd over. But Farhat carried on with Shoaib Malik for company, hitting an audacious six off Steyn in a partnership of 35. Pakistan survived the fall of his wicket and the run out of Wahab Riaz within the space of 3 deliveries to get past the SA total in 48.4 overs. Saeed Ajmal and Malik both signed off with a boundary each off Tsotsobe to give Pakistan a tense 2 wicket win to level the series 2-2.
The final game will be played at Benoni on Sunday.