Pakistan’s wily spinners gave a masterclass in slow bowling to bamboozle South Africa’s batting lineup and lead their side to a 66-run victory in the second one-day international in the United Arab Emirates on Friday.
Set a modest 210 to win, South Africa were bowled out for 143 in 40.4 overs as Pakistan’s slow bowlers took a combined six wickets at a run rate of under three an over to level the five-match series at 1-1.
Saeed Ajmal recorded figures of 2-15 in eight overs at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium as the Proteas had no answer to his guile on a wicket that was taking turn, but not excessively so.
Veteran Shahid Afridi finished with 3-26 and Mohammad Hafeez took 1-25 in his 10 overs as Pakistan restricted the runs and piled pressure back onto the South African batsmen.
Giant paceman Mohammad Irfan got in on the act too, taking 3-53 as Pakistan bounced back from their loss in Wednesday’s series opener.
None of the South African batsmen looked comfortable at the crease, with only Ryan McLaren showing some resistance with 29 not out.
“It was a really good performance, especially after being bowled out for a low score. The team fought hard, the bowlers did the job for us again,” Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq said at the post-match presentation.
“The spinners were brilliant, but altogether it was a good showing from the pace bowlers as well. We still need to improve performances and cannot relax after this,” he said.