Disciplined Pakistan outplay South Africa

Faisalabad, October 23:

Pakistan produced disciplined cricket to upstage South Africa by six wickets in the third day-night international here on Tuesday, to take a 2-1 lead in the series.

Rao Iftikhar took a career-best 3-33 and leg-spinner Shahid Afridi 3-37 to restrict the tourists to 197 all out. Mohammad Yousuf then hit an unbeaten snail-paced 58 off 113 balls to help Pakistan reach 202-4 in 48.1 overs.

Yousuf added an invaluable 79 runs for the fourth wicket with captain Shoaib Malik (42) to set up the victory. Yousuf hit just one boundary in his 104-ball half-century but stayed until the victory was achieved.

It followed a contrasting cameo by Afridi who enthralled a packed 16,000 crowd at Iqbal Stadium with a rapidfire 32. Afridi gave Pakistan a fiery start as he hit two sixes and four boundaries in his 18-ball knock before Pakistan lost three quick wickets.

Afridi’s ferocious shot off Shaun Pollock was well held at mid-off by Smith before Yasir Hameed (18) fell to Makhaya Ntini and Younis Khan (10) was caught behind off Albie Morkel.

Morkel also broke the Malik-Yousuf stand but with only 51 needed for victory it was too late as Misbah-ul Haq (29 not out) helped Yousuf to complete the formality.

Earlier, Iftikhar and Afridi shared six wickets between them to derail South Africa, who won the toss and decided to bat on a pitch with variable bounce and slow turn.

Afridi dismissed Jacques Kallis (13), Justin Kemp (42) and Shaun Pollock (one) to trigger a middle-order slump from which they could not recover.

South Africa, reduced to 77-3 in 20 overs, was lifted by captain Graeme Smith (48) and Kemp, who shared a fourth-wicket stand of 45 off 75 deliveries but they never looked in command.

South Africa lost Mark Boucher (17) to spinner Abdul Rehamn as the tourists lost their last six wickets for just 35 runs. The fourth match will be played at Multan on Friday.

South Africa to assess security

FAISALABAD: South Africa have sent a security official to Karachi to determine if it is safe to play their last one-day game against Pakistan in the troubled city, an official said on Tuesday.

A suicide bombing tore through former premier Benazir Bhutto’s homecoming parade in the southern city on October 18 killing 139 people. South Africa said they would await a security assessment before deciding whether to play the fifth and final one-day match there on October 29.

“South Africa is sending their security official, and a Pakistan Cricket Board official will accompany him, to assess security in Karachi and will give an update on playing in the city by Wednesday,” PCB spokesman Ahsan Malik said. — AFP