Imad's Before The Flash Takes Pakistan Up To 240 > Cricket News, cricinfo, mobilecric, cricbuzz, livescore and more

Cricket news - Imad's late blitz takes Pakistan to 240

Imad Wasim scored 47 off 31 to help Pakistan recover from a mini slump.

Imad Wasim's late cameo helped Pakistan reach 240 for 8 in 50 overs after being put into bat in the final ODI at Newlands against South Africa.

It was a bizarre decision on the part of Faf du Plessis, who elected to field after winning the toss at a venue where chasing teams haven't found too much success historically. Nonetheless, with South Africa fielding three all-round options, bringing in Williem Mulder and Dwaine Pretorius to join Andile Phehlukwayo in the XI it seemed like the experimentation was on even in a decider clash.

Nonetheless, South Africa found success early when Dale Steyn dismissed in-form Imam ul Haq for 8 in the third over of the innings. The southpaw, looking to give charge to the pacer, top-edged a bouncer to third man.

However, Pakistan revived the innings courtesy a half-century stand between Babar Azam and Fakhar Zaman. While Zaman adopted a more conservative approach, Babar was in sublime touch. He hit some glorious drives for boundaries, starting out with a cover drive by getting on top of Imran Tahir's legbreak.

Tahir, who had taken the new ball alongside Steyn, was given a break after two overs and replaced by Kagiso Rabada. However, by then, Babar's assault had paved way for Pakistan's revival. Rabada induced an edge off Zaman's bat straight to Hashim Amla at slips only for the veteran to drop it. Zaman cashed in on the reprieve and stroked his way to a matured half-century - ninth of his ODI career.

Babar's innings, however, came to an abrupt end when he failed to read the line of Pretorius's delivery and walked across to have his leg stump shattered. A partnership that looked promising came to an end, characterising Pakistan's innings that was to follow.

Zaman, thereafter, stitched another solid stand with Mohammad Hafeez before the batsman slashed at a short delivery and handed the 'keeper an easy catch. Wickets kept falling at regular intervals, with Phehlukwayo and Pretorius striking twice each in the middle overs. Several batsmen steadied themselves but fell when the opportunity was ripe to accelerate.

With the scoring rate falling, Pakistan's middle order tried to play hard shots which didn't seem like a sensible approach on a pitch that wasn't the fastest of them all. Shoaib Malik, who was run out as a result of miscommunication with Shadab Khan, was the last of the established batsmen to fall, reducing Pakistan to 174 for 6 in 39 overs.

Imad, who has played a few useful hands lower down the order in this series, came to the fore yet again. He struck four boundaries and two sixes enroute his 31-ball 47* to take Pakistan to a reasonable total.

Brief Scores: Pakistan 240/8 in 50 overs (Fakhar Zaman 70, Imad Wasim 47*; Andile Phehlukwayo 2-42, Dwaine Pretorius 2-46) vs South Africa

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