South Africa v Pakistan

  • Last Updated: March 21 2013, 16:57 GMT

Imran Farhat marked his return to the one-day fold with 93 to help Pakistan level their ODI series against South Africa after a nailbiting three-wicket triumph in the fourth encounter in Johannesburg.

Farhat: Scored 93 in successful run-chase
Farhat: Scored 93 in successful run-chase

Farhat had not played a 50-over match for his country since June last year, but his innings along with a superb 80 from captain Misbah-ul-Haq took the tourists to the brink of overhauling South Africa's 236 for nine, with Shoaib Malik hitting the winning runs with eight balls to spare.

Pakistan's victory ensures there is all to play for heading into Sunday's decider in Benoni.

That the Proteas managed to reach a competitive total was largely down to captain AB de Villiers, who decided to bat first, only to see Hashim Amla play a loose shot to Mohammad Irfan first up and edge behind.

Colin Ingram then followed immediately afterwards when he was trapped plumb in front by a lovely yorker from the tall paceman.

De Villiers settled into his stride with two fours in one Junaid Khan over although the left-armer would gain a measure of revenge by bowling Graeme Smith, who had moved too far across his stumps, and then having Farhaan Behardien caught behind five balls later as South Africa slumped to 38 for four.

De Villiers, who scored a century in the third match in Johannesburg, continued to prosper although David Miller was given a life on nine when Farhat put down a simple chance at midwicket off Mohammad Hafeez.

It proved a costly miss, with the left-hander looking steady thereafter while De Villiers brought up his half-century with a single off Wahab Riaz in the 24th over.

Miller kept the score ticking over with three fours in each of Shahid Afridi's first three overs, the last of which was punched through the covers to bring up his 50.

The left-hander continued to be the more attacking of the pair but he missed one and was trapped lbw for 67 by Saeed Ajmal, who ended De Villiers' resistance on 75 when the 29-year-old was caught behind attempting to sweep the spinner.

Robin Peterson flourished late on, contributing a useful 25 not out, which included back-to-back fours off the final over from Junaid.

The tourists' response got off to a controversial start when Hafeez became the first batsman in international cricket to be dismissed obstructing the field under the new laws in the second over.

Farhat gave a sharp caught-and-bowled chance to Dale Steyn, who could not hold on, although it did not look like it would be too costly when Kamran Akmal picked out Miller at point off Lonwabo Tsotsobe.

Younis Khan was then bowled by Rory Kleinveldt to bring together Farhat and Misbah, with the pair watchful early on.

Farhat, in particular, was finding boundaries difficult to come by although Misbah unleashed the shackles by hammering Ingram for six-four-six in the space of three balls to move past 50.

The pair continued to keep the scoreboard ticking over before Farhat brought up his half-century with a stylish half-volley through the covers for four off Peterson.

The two had put on 153 in 30.1 overs before Misbah top edged Peterson to Behardien running back from midwicket, while big-hitting Afridi edged behind in the same over.

Farhat perished seven runs shy of his second ODI hundred when he spliced Steyn to Behardien, who took another fantastic match running back from cover-point.

Wahab was short of his ground and ran out by Miller's direct hit before new batsman Ajmal tipped the scales back in Pakistan's favour with a first-ball four while Malik sealed victory two balls later.


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