BIRMINGHAM: Hasan Ali and spinners tore through South African batting on Wednesday, as Pakistan kept building pressure on the Proteas in a remarkable turnaround at Edgbaston.
Strikes by Imad Wasim and Mohammad Hafeez got rid of openers Hashim Amla (16), Quinton de Kock (33) and skipper AB de Villiers (golden duck), before Hasan Ali leveraged the pressure to get three quick wickets and send South Africa reeling.
The pacer had Faf du Plessis clean bowled for 26, followed shortly afterwards by JP Duminy caught in the slips. A brilliant delivery then sent Wayne Parnell’s stumps flying, reducing the Proteas to 118-6.
Earlier South Africa won the toss and elected to bat first.
Young Pakistan Super League sensation Fakhar Zaman is making his ODI debut, as Pakistan desperately seek to live another day in their Champions Trophy campaign.
Pakistan, the lowest-ranked team in the tournament, lost their opening game against archrivals India by 124 runs, sparking criticism over their playing strategy and selection. Today is another chance for the young captain Sarfraz Ahmed’s team to come back from behind and revive hopes of billions of fans by beating South Africa, who have already won their first game against Sri Lanka.
“We would have liked to bat too. Two changes, Wahab and Shehzad not playing. Fakhar and Junaid come in. Morale is high,” Sarfraz said at the toss.
South Africa captain AB de Villiers said, “We batted pretty well in the last game. A couple of games were played on this pitch. May break up a bit more. Had good intensity for 80% of the game, if we could get that to 100%, we’ll be a good team.”
History hasn’t favoured Pakistan against the Proteas. The Green Shirts have lost both of their previous Champions Trophy matches against South Africa (2006 and 2013 editions). In the World Cup encounters, Pakistan have won one and lost three against the Proteas.