1st ODI, Sharjah

Pakistan v South Africa, 2013-14

At Sharjah, October 30, 2013 (day/night). South Africa won by one run. Toss: South Africa.
It took one match for Pakistan to reaffirm their reputation for flakiness in one-day run-chases. After de Villiers established the pattern for the series by choosing to bat on a sluggish pitch, South Africa crumbled to 86 for six in the face of some outstanding bowling from Saeed Ajmal and Shahid Afridi. Parnell looked out his depth against them but, with help from Miller and Tsotsobe, he managed to drag South Africa up to the lowest end of a defendable total. Even then, as Pakistan calmly picked their way to 107 for two, then 165 for four, it looked at least 50 short. But with Umar Amin out the previous ball and 19 still needed, Umar Akmal got into a terrible tangle against Imran Tahir, and South Africa were presented with the tiniest opening. They barnstormed through it, with Tahir - recalled only because of illness to Robin Peterson - the delirious leader of the charge. He took two wickets in his next over, when Afridi top-edged a long-hop to deep midwicket, and Wahab Riaz was lbw to a googly. With the ask whittled down to two from 22 balls, Ajmal made the fatal mistake of exposing last man Mohammad Irfan to Morne Morkel. He had his off stump trimmed almost immediately, and Pakistan had lost their last six wickets for 17 runs inside six overs.
Man of the Match: W. D. Parnell.

© John Wisden & Co.