Great comeback by Pakistan – Misbah-ul-Haq

The jubilant captain of Pakistan, Misbah-ul-Haq, was pleased with the performance of his team, who beat South Africa in the second ODI and subsequently won the series.

It was for the first time ever that the Green Shirts won a series against the Proteas at the opposition’s turf. Pakistan was beaten thoroughly by 4-1 in the recently concluded home series, held in the United Arab Emirates.  They were outplayed all ends up in every department of the game and especially their batting let them down in the One Day Internationals.

The tourists landed in South Africa to participate in the scheduled 2 Twenty20s and 5 ODIs. Mohammad Hafeez led them in the challenging T20 series which was squared at 1-1. Misbah-ul-Haq took over the command of the national squad in ODIs and they played the first game on November 24, 2013, at Newlands, Cape Town. Pakistan smashed 9-218 in 50 overs while batting first, rolled back the innings of South Africa for 195 in 48.1 overs and grabbed the match by 23 runs.

Misbah-ul-Haq - Hailed the perfomance of his team
Misbah-ul-Haq – Hailed the perfomance of his team

The second ODI was held on November 27, 2013, at St George’s Park, Port Elizebeth. The Green Shirts were put into bat first by the rival captain, AB de Villiers, however his decision bounced back as the visitors hammered 262 in the allocated 45 overs. The home side fought well but their innings was restricted to 6-261 after the last ball of the final over was bowled. Pakistan won the thrilling encounter by a narrow margin of one run and was ruling the series at 2-0. Misbah-ul-Haq appreciated the efforts of his boys for producing the wonderful result and commented,

“It really means a lot to us to beat South Africa in a bilateral series for the first time, especially doing it in South Africa. It was especially satisfying because Pakistan were recently beaten 4-1 by the same opponents in the United Arab Emirates. It is a young side and now they believe they can win. That was what was lacking (in the previous series)”.

The Proteas were chasing the target of 263 nicely in the 2nd ODI and the fourth wicket partnership between de Villiers and Hashim Amla produced 110 runs. The first was gone at 227 after scoring 74 runs and they needed just 11 runs to win the match off the last 12 deliveries. Saeed Ajmal bowled the 44th over and gave away just two runs while taking the important wicket of Hashim Amla who scored 98 runs.

The ball was handed over to Junaid Khan to deliver the last six balls and he removed Jean-Paul-Duminy on the second delivery for 15. The pace bowler kept the pressure on with his speedy yorkers, gave away seven runs and won the important encounter for his team. Misbah-ul-Haq described after the match that his team fought until the last ball while anticipating that the victory was not that far. He further said,

“But there is always pressure on the side batting second. We knew that we would have a chance if we had one good over so that South Africa needed more than a run a ball in the last over, especially if they had new batsmen at the crease”.

The third and final ODI of the series will be played on November 30, 2013, at SuperSport Park, Centurion, and Pakistan will be anticipating a clean sweep.


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