Fakhar Zaman’s magnificent knock of 193 runs went in vain as Pakistan suffered a 17-run defeat at the hands of South Africa in the second ODI here on Sunday.
With this win, South Africa has levelled the three-match ODI series 1-1 and the series decider will take place on April 7.
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After being asked to bat first, South Africa got off to a good start with openers Quinton de Kock and Aiden Markram scoring regular boundaries. Faheem Ashraf provided Pakistan with the first breakthrough as he dismissed Markram (39) in the 10th over.
Temba Bavuma then took the field and played brilliantly along with De Kock. The duo formed a 114-run partnership before Haris Rauf got hold of De Kock (80). Rassie van der Dussen then came out to bat and played with an aggressive mindset. He completed his half-century off just 34 balls.
Bavuma and Van der Dussen took the team over the 250-run mark but soon after that, the latter got out. Bavuma too got out after scoring 92 runs. South Africa then lost wickets in a regular interval but it was David Miller’s 27-ball 50 that powered them to a very competitive total of 341 runs.
Chasing the target, Pakistan witnessed a poor start with Imam-ul-Haq getting out in just the second over of the innings. Zaman was then joined by Babar Azam. Anrich Nortje scalped two wickets in the 11th over, with Pakistan’s score reading 71/3 after the completion of 11 overs. In the 15th over, Nortje removed Danish Aziz as well.
Zaman kept fighting against South African bowlers although he did not receive any support from the other end. He completed his century in the 39th over. After 39 overs, Pakistan were playing on 218/7 with Zaman and Shaheen Shah Afridi on the field. Zaman kept adding runs while Afridi played the role of a second fiddle.
Afridi then got out in the 45th over but Zaman kept fighting and took the visitors over the 300-run mark. In the final over, Pakistan needed 31 runs to win the match and Zaman got run out on the very first ball of the over.
Mohammad Hasnain scored three boundaries in the over but they were not enough for the team to get over the line.
Brief scores: South Africa 341/6 (Temba Bavuma 92, Quinton de Kock 80; Haris Rauf 3/54); Pakistan 324/9 (Fakhar Zaman 193, Babar Azam 31; Anrich Nortje 3/63)