3rd ODI: South Africa survive Afridi fireworks
18 March, 2013
JOHANNESBURG: Centuries by Hashim Amla and AB de Villiers set up a 34-run victory for South Africa despite a thrilling innings by Pakistan's Shahid Afridi in the third One-Day International (ODI) at the Wanderers Stadium.
Amla (122) and De Villiers (128) shared a world record third wicket partnership of 238 as South Africa made 343 for five after being sent in.
Pakistan, who were bowled out for 309 to slip 2-1 down in the series, had been in deep trouble when Afridi walked in at 132 for five but he gave his side hope as he thrashed 88 off 48 balls with seven sixes and five fours.
Afridi's innings included some of the biggest sixes seen at the Wanderers.
One, after he had been bowled off a no-ball, was a mighty hit onto the roof of the four-tier Centenary stand which was last seen bouncing towards an adjacent golf course.
Afridi was yorked by Ryan McLaren when he had 73 but a check requested by umpire Billy Bowden showed the bowler had over-stepped.
McLaren then bowled a wide, which meant Afridi still had a free hit to which he committed all his power.
There was one more six before he hit a full toss from Lonwabo Tsotsobe to McLaren at long-off.
There was still a possibility of a reprieve as the umpires checked whether the full toss was above waist height, which would have meant another no-ball, before confirming the dismissal.
South Africa punish Pakistan bowlers
Amla and de Villiers batted superbly after South Africa struggled early on, with left-arm fast bowler Mohammad Irfan taking two early wickets.
They beat by one run the previous ODI third wicket record set by Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar for India against Kenya in 1999, to ensure that Pakistan would have a challenging run chase on a ground renowned for high scoring.
De Villiers was quickly into his stride and the pair posted a fifty partnership off 38 balls.
The rate slowed slightly when Pakistan brought their spin bowlers into action.
After 35 overs the total was 115 but the runs came in a torrent towards the end of the innings. Amla reached his 11th ODI century off 99 balls, while de Villiers went to his 14th century in the format off 87 deliveries.
Misbah pleased with batters
Pakistan captain Misbahul Haq was, however, pleased with the team's performance. “I'm really pleased with the way everybody played,” said Misbah. “It showed we can be a good chasing side. Losing Irfan was a blow and that maybe led us to concede 20 or 30 more runs.
“We also backed Afridi and he played wonderfully today. We need to improve to bring the total down and if our batsmen can just keep building on starts and score a big one. If one of our batsmen had scored big, we could have won this game.”
On the other hand, de Villiers was satisfied with his players. “I'm proud of the way we fought back. Now we're looking forward to Durban.”
The fourth ODI will be played on March 21 with the final match three days later.