Pakistan held on for a thrilling one run victory over South Africa at St George’s Park earlier this week, as they registered the narrowest ever win in a One Day International.
After picking up a score of 262 in the rain shortened 45 over game, the visitors gave themselves a good chance of a second successive win in the current ODI series, as 22-year-old Ahmed Shehzad starred with the bat, clinching his third international ton (102).
Sohaib Maqsool (42) and Umar Akmal (42) provided the majority of the remaining runs as Pakistan looked to build on their one-nil series lead. South Africa bowler, Dale Steyn, is enjoying the best form of his career at the moment and did his utmost to disrupt the flow of the visitor’s game, taking career-best figures of 6-39. However, despite such credible numbers, the hosts were unable to take the three-game series into a deciding Test, failing by the narrowest of margins.
A century partnership between Hashim Amla (98) and AB de Villiers (74) had sent South Africa to the brink of victory, yet with the last ball of the penultimate over, Amla’s wicket was taken by Saeed Ajmal. A cruel blow to the hosts who had looked dangerous throughout the game, with de Villiers leading by a captain’s example, providing a standout performance which included eight fours and two sixes.
It was up to Junaid Khan then to see out the final over for the visitors, and after taking the wicket of JP Duminy, it ensured Pakistan claimed victory.
The paceman had Duminy caught off the second ball of the last over, and with South Africa failing to make the crucial two runs that would have guaranteed victory; it meant it was Pakistan who stamped their name in the ODI history books.