Hafeez Imam Inspire Pakistan, For The Hard-won Victory > Cricket News, cricinfo, mobilecric, cricbuzz, livescore and more

Cricket news - Hafeez, Imam inspire Pakistan to hard-fought win

Hafeez scored an unbeaten 71 in the chase.

In a game that had its fair share of dynamic shifts, Imam-ul-Haq (86) and Mohammad Hafeez (71*) played vital hands to steer Pakistan past the finish line by five wickets against South Africa in the first ODI in Port Elizabeth. The visitors repelled the target of 267 in 49.1 overs.

185 for 2, with the Imam and Hafeez still at the crease, Pakistan looked on course for their first victory against South Africa on the current tour. In this stage, the Imam skipped along the way, and cracked with a cover, where Reeza Hendricks took a sharp catch. The wicket-the Imam gave South Africa a small window of opportunity to make a comeback.

Hafeez to play though, with positive intentions. He clapped his Duanne Olivier for six and then down loaded the track to loft Imran Tahir for the other six. However, there was another twist in the story, when Shoaib Malik, the veteran batsman, it was on the stumps from Andile Phehlukwayo during Sarfraz Ahmed prised out LBW by Imran Tahir. The Pakistan captain took the assessment, but without success.

Pakistan needed someone to take responsibility and direct you to the last hurdle. It was Hafeez who was playing with a clear head on the shoulders and in the company of Shadab Khan took the visitors home. Hafeez is serenity in the slog overs can be capsulised as he paddled and glided over to Olivier for a couple of fours in the 47th.

Imam, the opener, deserves a large share of the credit for Pakistan's victory. He and Fakhar Zaman (25) Pakistan a breezy start. The duo was helped by Kagiso Rabada and Olivier curious tactic it turned to in short, what was a slow track. Even Fakhar was released, Imam found able ally in Babar Azam (49). The pair pinched singles and twos and also cracked to keep the occasional boundary, the required rate below six.

In the 28. over, against the run of play, Reeza Hendricks Azam accounted for wicket's. But then, the pair of the platform for Pakistan had the victory.

Earlier, Rassie van der Dussen (93) and Hashim Amla (108*) stitched a solid stand of 155 for the second wicket as the duo of South Africa is driven to fight as a whole. After choosing to bat, South Africa made a rather cautious start. It is Hendricks, the have tried was to up the ante with punches and the occasional travel. In the 10 over, Amla halved to hit the gaps and to control, in fact came through expertly to the boundary boards.

In search of wickets, Pakistan even took a desperate review for a LBW against Amla in the 18 and over only for replays to confirm that the ball pitched outside the line of leg-stump. However, in the same over, Shadab Khan prised out of Hendricks, by trying to play the slog sweep, only for the opener to deadlines an upper edge of the square leg fielder.

To debut this time, van der Dussen, on his ODI together a key partnership, together with the GWG-string. The couple had been on a diet of singles and twos. It was only decided in the slog overs, van der Dussen, press the accelerator pedal by tonking Usman Khan for a four and a six. Unfortunately, he was not able to reach the coveted three-figure mark on his ODI debut, when he ousted was of Hasan Ali in the 47th.

Amla, however, was able to reach the milestone in the 48th over with six by Mohammad Hafeez. Pakistan were very climes disciplined in familiar. Shadab gave away just 41 runs in his quota of 10 overs, while Hasan found reverse swing with the old ball. As a result, South Africa was able to collect only 76 the final 10 runs.

The home team struggled to adapt to the prevailing conditions. South Africa were also around 20 runs short, it's really good. For visitors, Port Elizabeth is still a happy hunting ground as they released their fourth ODI win against South Africa on the ground.

Brief scores: South Africa 266/2 in 50 overs (Hashim Amla 108*, Rassie van der Dussen 93; Shadab Khan 1-41) lost Pakistan 267/5 in 49.1 overs (Imam-ul-Haq 86, Mohammad Hafeez 71*; Duanne Olivier 2-73) with wickets

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