Hashim Amla guides South Africa to 6-wicket win over Pakistan

South Africa's Hashim Amla in action in the Test match against Pakistan. (Reuters)
Updated 28 December 2018
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Hashim Amla guides South Africa to 6-wicket win over Pakistan

CENTURION, South Africa: South Africa won the first test against Pakistan on Friday as Hashim Amla held together a shaky run-chase to see his team to a six-wicket victory in a game settled on the third day but turned on its head in one session a day earlier.
Amla made 63 not out to take South Africa to 151-4 and past the target of 149.
Opener Dean Elgar contributed 50 and shared a match-clinching partnership of 119 with Amla for the second wicket before Elgar’s departure a ball after getting to 50 sparked a flurry of wickets near the end.
South Africa steadied themselves to take an early lead in the three-match series. It was all over well before tea on Day 3 after a green-tinged pitch at SuperSport Park provided lots of help to both teams’ fast bowlers and the batters duly struggled against the pace, bounce and movement.
Pakistan were bowled out for 181 in its first innings after taking the risky option of batting first — a decision that ultimately backfired. South Africa replied with not much more, 223 all out, in their first innings.
At 100-1 at tea on Day 2, Pakistan had forced their way in front. The tourists looked set to build a significant lead and put themselves in a position of strength only to lose nine wickets for 89 runs in a sudden, game-changing collapse that left South Africa with a modest score to chase instead.
“I felt that was probably the match-turning moment,” South Africa captain Faf du Plessis said. “Both teams were similar in the first innings, very good (bowling) attacks on a tough batting pitch.
“That period there when we got nine wickets, incredible effort from the bowlers.”
South Africa’s match-winner was Duanne Olivier, the fast bowler who wasn’t meant to be playing in the series-opener but was drafted in after injuries to fellow quicks Vernon Philander and Lungi Ngidi.
He finished with six wickets in the first innings and five in the second, bowling short-pitched, fast and hostile spells to collect 11-96 in the match and the 10th-best figures ever for a South African in a test. His wickets included four of the nine to fall in that crucial post-tea session on Thursday.
“We are definitely disappointed that we had our opportunity to put runs on the board and we didn’t capitalize after tea (on Thursday),” Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed said. “And we lost too many wickets in one session.
“We have quality fast bowling, they bowled really well but we have to score runs. If we don’t score runs, it’s not easy.”


Finch's century helps fire Australia to eight-wicket win over Pakistan

Updated 23 March 2019
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Finch's century helps fire Australia to eight-wicket win over Pakistan

SHARJAH: Aaron Finch's fine century drove Australia to a convincing eight-wicket win over a new-look Pakistan in the first one-day international on Friday.
The Austraian skipper scored 116 off 135 balls for his 12th one-day international century that helped his team overhaul the 281-run target in 49 overs on a flat Sharjah stadium pitch.
The win gives Australia the lead in the five-match series and has come on the back of their 3-2 series win in India earlier this month.
Finch's match-winning knock overshadowed Haris Sohail's maiden one-day hundred (101 not out) which helped Pakistan to 280-5 in their 50 overs.
The 32-year-old smashed Shoaib Malik for a huge six towards deep mid-wicket to complete his century -- his first since June last year against England at Chester-Le-Street -- off 120 balls.
Finch, who knocked four sixes and eight boundaries, added an innings-building 172 runs for the second wicket with Shaun Marsh who scored an unbeaten 91 off 102 balls with four boundaries and two sixes.
With 46 needed Finch became Mohammad Abbas's maiden wicket but Peter Handscomb hit 30 not out to help Marsh cross the line.
Finch and Marsh came together after opener Usman Khawaja fell for 24 to medium pacer Faheem Ashraf, the only other success Pakistan's new-look bowling attack could achieve.
Pakistan rested six of their key players including regular skipper Sarfraz Ahmed in order to keep them fresh for the World Cup starting in UK from May 30.
But the young and inexperienced Pakistan led by Malik proved no match for Australia, who are on a roll after their win in India earlier this month.
Left-hander Sohail, who reached 1,000 runs in his 27th one-day international when on 40, anchored Pakistan's innings, adding 98 for the third wicket with Umar Akmal who made a 50-ball 48 in his first international match for two years.
Sohail took a single to complete his hundred in the last over, finishing with six boundaries and a six.
Pakistan had handed one-day debuts to opener Shan Masood and Abbas -- who have played 15 and 14 Tests respectively.
Masood put on 35 in an opening stand with Imam-ul-Haq (17) before off-spinner Nathan Lyon dismissed Imam in the seventh over, caught and bowled.
Masood, who hit five boundaries in his 62-ball 40, was then bowled by paceman Nathan Coulter-Nile who finished with 1-38 in his 10 overs.
Umar smashed three sixes in one Jhye Richardson over but fell one short of his half century.
Malik fell for 11 and Ashraf and Imad Wasim scored 28 each.
Wasim hit four boundaries and a six during his 13-ball unbeaten knock, helping Pakistan to 55 runs in the last five overs.
Sunday's second ODI is also being played in Sharjah, with the third in Abu Dhabi (March 27) and the last two in Dubai (March 29 and 31).