Shinwari’s four-for helps Pakistan draw level
Wanderers : Pakistan drew level in their series with South Africa at the Wanderers, inflicting the hosts’ first ever PinkDay defeat as they dominated with bat and ball. Usman Shinwari inflicted most of the damage this morning, starring with 4 for 35 to bowl South Africa out for 164. Imam-ul-Haq then continued his good form with 71 to go with his century in the last match, adding 94 with Babar Azam to guide Pakistan to an eight-wicket victory with more than 18 overs to spare.
On a surprisingly helpful pitch, Imam didn’t have it all his way and had to endure probing spells from Dale Steyn and Kagiso Rabada, with Steyn beating his outside edge several times. But the vital breakthrough never came, and eventually the misses turned into hits for both Imam and Fakhar Zaman, who cracked seven boundaries in a run-a-ball 44 – his highest score of the tour so far.
Imam contributed just three boundaries to an opening stand that ran to 70 before Fakhar slogged Imran Tahir to Rassie van der Dussen at deep midwicket, Tahir lightening the occasion by dialling Tabraiz Shamsi – on the bench for this game – with Shamsi’s own shoe-phone celebration. Shamsi removed his own shoe in the dugout to receive the call at the other end.
The celebration was soaked up by a capacity pink-clad crowd, but that was as good as it got for South Africa, as thereafter Imam settled in and struck three more boundaries to raise his fifth fifty – and second against South Africa – in the 24th over. By then, Pakistan’s target was under fifty and Imam and Babar steadily chipped away it it.
Babar pulled Reeza Hendricks’ offspin through square leg for four to raise the fifty stand, and after raising his fifty, Imam stepped down the track to shovel Tahir over long-off for the first six of the innings. A dab to third man brought the teams level, but with the job all but done Imam swiped at Phehlukwayo to be caught behind for 71. Mohammad Rizwan needed just one ball to secure the win, tapping the first he faced through the covers for four to complete the chase.