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Pakistan fall 17 runs short despite Fakhar's epic 193

  • The left-handed batsman posts highest individual second innings score in ODIs

Johannesburg, 4 April 2021: Fakhar Zaman scored an incredible 193 that took Pakistan in the touching distance of the mammoth 342-run target but the tourists fell 17 runs short of it in the second ODI against South Africa. The hosts, with the victory, levelled the three-match series.

Such was the grandeur of the left-handed batsman’s knock that it tumbled various records. Fakhar dwarfed Shane Watson’s now previous best score of 185 in the format and Herschelle Gibbs’ 175 at the Wanderers. This was also the highest score by a batsman in a Pink ODI.

Fakhar, who also holds the record for being the only Pakistan batsman to post double-hundred in ODIs, spanked 18 fours and 10 sixes and received player of the match award, in a rare instance of the award been handed to a player from the losing side.

Pakistan had a troublesome start to the run-chase with Imam-ul-Haq falling on the last ball of the second over, however, Babar Azam’s breezy strokeplay put Pakistan on track as the Pakistan captain smashed six fours that took his side’s scoring rate beyond run-a-ball by the conclusion of the first powerplay.

Coming into the match at the back of career-best four for 51, Anrich Nortje bounced out Babar and Mohammad Rizwan in his first over – the 11th of the innings – that put breaks on the flow of runs. Danish Aziz, for the second time in as many matches, fell to Nortje as Pakistan slipped to 85 for four from 70 for one in a span of 4.2 overs.

Fakhar’s first show of intent came in the 28th over when he lofted Kagiso Rabada for a gigantic six over square leg and followed it up with a crunchy pull in front of midwicket for four. He slogged Shamsi for a four and the six on the last two balls of the next over.

From the other end, Asif Ali chipped in with a 27-ball 19, in which he managed two fours, as the pair stitched a 66-run partnership.

Fakhar ensured the scorers continue to tick the scorebook as he smashed boundaries on regular intervals, smashing 62 runs off just 29 in his 68-run stand with Shaheen Shah Afridi (five of 15).

Before the start of the 41st over, Pakistan required 116 and Fakhar unleashed his best against Nortje, who delivered as many as 32 dots in 10 overs, with a six over deep midwicket and a four, swatted in the same region, before he took on Tabraiz Shamsi with two massive sixes.

Despite South Africa taking advantage of the allowance of five sweepers outside the 30-yard circle in the last 10 overs, Fakhar pierced the gaps at will and smashed six fours.

For the second time in the series, Pakistan opted to bowl. Quinton de Kock and South Africa captain Temba Bavuma laid solid foundation for the home side to post a daunting total. The wicketkeeper-batsman smashed 80 off 86, embellished with 10 fours and a six, and Bavuma (92 off 102, nine fours) fell eight runs short of what would have been his first century as his country’s skipper.

Their knocks provided impetus to Rassie van der Dussen and David Miller to smashed fifties below the order. Van der Dussen, fresh of his maiden century, hit six fours and four sixes in his 37-ball 60, before Miller smashed his first-ever 50 under 30 balls with a 50 not out off 27, which had three sixes and as many fours.

Miller’s three boundaries, two fours and a six, came in the last over of the innings off Shaheen.

On a day when bowlers had nowhere to hide, pacer Haris Rauf bowled tight lengths to deny the South Africa batsmen to cut loose and picked up three wickets for 54 in 10 overs and was the most economical bowler from his side.

Nortje’s good work in the first phase of the Pakistan innings saw his outshine his compatriots on the scorecard as he finished with three for 63 and Andile Phehlukwayo took two wickets for 67.

After two closely fought matches, the series will now be decided in the third and final contest at Centurion’s SuperSport Park on Wednesday.

Scores in brief:

South Africa 341-6, 50 overs (Temba Bavuma 92, Quinton de Kock 80, Rassie van der Dussen 60, David Miller 50 not out; Haris Rauf 3-54)

Pakistan 324-9, 50 overs (Fakhar Zaman 193, Babar Azam 31; Anrich Nortje 3-63, Andile Phehlukwayo 2-67)

Player of the match – Fakhar Zaman (Pakistan)