Ahmed Shehzad’s 58 and some long handle used at the end by Shahid Afridi (26) and Wahab Riaz (18) helped Pakistan to post 209 in the second One-Day International against South Africa at Dubai. Ryan McLaren though got crucial wickets which restricted the score.
Pakistan began the match with a determination to improve from their mistakes in the previous game. However, their start was almost a déjà vu since Nasir Jamshed fell in the third over of the match to Morne Morkel. Jamshed, tried to pull the lanky pacer and the thick edge from his bat flew towards fine-leg where Lonwabo Tsotsobe covered a fair bit of distance taking the catch inches before it touched the ground.
After the early jolt, Mohammad Hafeez and Shehzad played watchfully as Tsotsobe and Morkel dominated for the first 10 overs. The pair brought the fifty runs for Pakistan. Hafeez then plotted his own downfall by shuffling across to Ryan McLaren and in the process chopped the ball on to his stumps.
His dismissal brought skipper Misbah-ul-Haq who stitched a valuable partnership with Shehzad to build a base for Pakistan. Shehzad continued from where he left off in the previous ODI anchoring the innings. While Pakistan didn’t lose wickets then, the run-rate too wasn’t as healthy as the batsmen would have desired for. Shehzad completed his fifty in the 23rd over.
While they could have improved their pace of scoring, the fall of wickets at regular intervals from thereon didn’t help their cause. The partnership was finally broken when Misbah fetched a delivery outside off and tried to despatch it on the leg-side. However, it travelled only as far as David Miller at deep mid-wicket. Imran Tahir got the most important wicket soon as Shehzad lobbed an easy catch back to the bowler being dismissed for 58 — the same score he achieved in the first ODI.
Umar Akmal and Umar Amin did get some start but couldn’t capitalise on it. Both the batsmen were dismissed in the powerplay overs for 18 and 14 runs respectively.
The much-needed boost was provided by Afridi who hit some sparkling shots. In the 44th over Afridi went past Javed Miandad‘s 7,381 ODI runs to become Pakistan’s fourth highest run-getter in the 50-over format. He was finally dismissed by Morkel after he failed to clear the infield. He was caught by Graeme Smith at mid-off. He scored a 20-ball 26.
The late wickets though choked Pakistan in reaching to a healthy score, which on this ground is predicted to be around 230. Apart from Afridi, it was Riaz who fired with some wild swings which fetched them valuable runs. He was finally dismissed in the last over by Wayne Parnell.
Pakistan 209 in 49.4 overs (Ahmed Shehzad 58, Shahid Afridi 26; Ryan McLaren 4 for 34, Morne Morkel 3 for 38) vs South Africa