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Pakistan takes series after thrilling win

South Africa falls one run short of Pakistan’s 262 in rain-shortened second ODI, with Steyn’s 6/39 going in vain

Pakistan takes series after thrilling win - Cricket News
Ahmed Shehzad hit eight fours and two sixes during his 112-ball 102.
In a thrilling finish, Pakistan edged South Africa by just one run in the second One-Day International to take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series. Put in to bat, Pakistan made 262 in a match reduced to 45-overs-a-side due to rain, powered by Ahmed Shehzad’s third ODI century at St George’s Park in Port Elizabeth on Wednesday (November 27).
 
Hashim Amla (98 off 131) and AB de Villiers (74 off 45) took their side to the brink of victory, but South Africa could score only seven runs off the last nine balls, while losing two wickets, to finish on 261 for 6. 
 
South Africa had fallen well behind the required run-rate when de Villiers joined Amla with the score 117 for 3 in the 26th over, and the duo put on 110 off 78 deliveries to reduce the chase to less than a run-a-ball.
 
But de Villiers played one audacious shot too many to be caught at deep backward square-leg. When he was dismissed, South Africa was 227 for 4, needing a comfortable 36 runs in 38 balls. However, the rest of the middle order was unable to carry the chase through.
 
Amla and JP Duminy got South Africa to a stage where it needed nine runs off nine balls. But Saeed Ajmal finished a superb last over by having Amla caught in the deep.
 
Then Duminy fell to Junaid Khan in the last over. Eight were needed off the last four balls and Junaid allowed only two singles and four leg byes. The Pakistan players ran to embrace each other, with some kissing the ground.
 
Earlier, Dale Steyn recorded career-best figure of 6 for 39, but the other South African bowlers struggled to contain Pakistan, who had won the first match in Cape Town by 23 runs on Sunday.
 
Shehzad, 22, hit eight fours and two sixes in a 112-ball innings which ended unhappily when he hit the ball to mid-on and set off for a run before being sent back by Umar Akmal. He could not beat Imran Tahir's throw to Quinton de Kock, the wicketkeeper, and gestured angrily at Akmal.
 
The dismissal came off the last ball before the compulsory batting Power Play, which was taken after 35 overs.
 
Shehzad, who made his first-class debut aged 15, shared a third-wicket stand of 124 off 134 balls with Sohaib Maqsood, who made 42 off 59 balls.
 
The pair came together after Steyn had snared two early wickets, bowling Nasir Jamshed and extending his ascendancy over Mohammad Hafeez, who was caught behind. It was the 15th time Steyn had dismissed Hafeez in international matches.
 
South Africa struggled to build any momentum at the start of its innings and had scored only nine when Graeme Smith was caught behind off Junaid.
 
Amla and de Kock (47) then put on 87 off 103 balls for the second wicket. Although Jacques Kallis was out cheaply, a platform had been established for de Villiers to play a memorable innings. But it was not quite enough.
 
This was the first time Pakistan had beaten South Africa in a bilateral ODI series in South Africa, though it did win all three ODIs against South Africa in a triangular series that also included West Indies in 1993.
 
The final match of the series will take place on Saturday in Centurion.

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