From our correspondent
CENTURIAN: Babar Azam led from the front with a solid century as Pakistan sealed a last-ball thriller against South Africa by three wickets in the first One-day International here at the SuperSport Park on Friday.
The Pakistan captain hit a stroke-filled 103 off 104 balls but his dismissal started a collapse in which fast bowler Anrich Nortje took four wickets in four overs.
South Africa’s total of 273 for six did not seem enough as Babar and Imam-ul-Haq (70) put on 177 for Pakistan’s second wicket, taking them to within 88 runs of victory with 18.2 overs left before Babar was caught behind off Nortje.
Babar hit 17 fours in his innings for which he was declared the man of the match. Imam struck three fours and a six in his 80-ball innings.
Four wickets fell for 17 runs. Mohammad Rizwan and Shadab Khan steadied the innings in a partnership of 53 but both were dismissed in the closing overs before Faheem Ashraf hit the winning run off the final ball.
Rizwan scored 40 off 52 balls, hitting four boundaries. Shadab scored 33 off just 30 balls, striking two fours and a six.
Earlier, Rassie van der Dussen hit 123 not out, his maiden international century, to revive South African innings after they had lost four wickets for 55. He was ably assisted by David Miller, who scored 50 off 56 balls, including five fours. The two scored 116 for the fifth wicket.
Shaheen Shah Afridi provided Pakistan early breakthroughs when he dismissed openers Aiden Markram and Quinton de Kock, but he proved expensive later on, conceding 61 runs in his 10 overs. Haris Rauf also took two wickets, but he, too, was expensive, giving away 72 in his two overs. Mohammad Hasnain and Faheem Ashraf took one wicket each.
Pakistan won toss
A. Markram c Faheem b Shaheen 19
Q. de Kock c Babar Azam b Shaheen 20
T. Bavuma c Shaheen Afridi b Hasnain 1
H. van der Dussen not out 123
H. Klaasen c Rizwan b Faheem Ashraf 1
D. Miller c Rizwan b Haris Rauf 50
A. Phehlukwayo c Shadab b Haris 29
K. Rabada not out 13
Extras (lb2, nb1, w14) 17
Total (6 wkts, 50 overs) 273
Did not bat: A. Nortje, L. Ngidi, T. Shamsi
Fall: 1-34 (De Kock), 2-41 (Markram), 3-43 (Bavuma), 4-55 (Klaasen), 5-171 (Miller), 6-235 (Phehlukwayo)
Bowling: Shaheen Afridi 10-1-61-2 (1nb, 1w), Mohammad Hasnain 10-2-52-1 (2w), Faheem Ashraf 9-0-25-1 (1w), Haris Rauf 10-0-72-2 (3w), Shadab Khan 8-0-45-0 (4w), Danish Aziz 3-0-16-0
Imam-ul-Haq c Rabada b Nortje 70
Fakhar Zaman b Rabada 8
Babar Azam c De Kock b Nortje 103
Rizwan c Rabada b Phehlukwayo 40
Danish Aziz c De Kock b Nortje 3
Asif Ali c Phehlukwayo b Nortje 2
Shadab c Dussen b Phehlukwayo 33
Faheem Ashraf not out 5
Shaheen Shah Afridi not out 0
Extras (nb1, w9) 10
Total (7 wkts, 50 overs) 274
Did not bat: Mohammad Hasnain, Haris Rauf
Fall: 1-9 (Zaman), 2-186 (Babar), 3-193 (Imam), 4-198 (Aziz), 5-203 (Asif), 6-256 (Rizwan), 7-271 (Shadab)
Bowling: Rabada 10-1-51-1 (1w), Ngidi 10-1-65-0 (1nb), Nortje 10-0-51-4 (1w), Phehlukwayo 10-0-56-2 (1w), Shamsi 10-0-51-0 (3w)
Result: Pakistan won by three wickets
Man of the Match: Babar Azam (PAK)
Umpires: Marais Erasmus, Adrian Holdstock (RSA)