SA hold nerves to seal series victory

Published: Monday, October 29, 2007, 3:35 [IST]
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Lahore: South Africa held their nerves in the final moments to clinch the series against Pakistan by 14 runs in the fifth and final one-dayer here at the Gaddafi Stadium on Monday.

Seamers Ntini and Albie Morkel coupled with superb catching in the outfield helped Tourists pluck the last six Pakistan wickets for just 14 runs to seal the series 3-2

Pakistan chasing 234-run victory target were bowled out for 219 in 46.3 overs with Albie Morkel taking 4 for 44 and Makhaya Ntini 4 for 61.

Younis Khan (58) and Mohammad Yousuf (53) had shared a third wicket partnership of 106 in 134 balls to provide a solid platform but Pakistan lost their last six wickets in 36 balls.

South Africa clawed their way back after Younis was caught at deep midwicket by Morkel off Shaun Pollock in the 30th over.

Three overs later part-time spinner Jean-Paul Duminy had Yousuf slashing at a wide ball to be caught behind.

Captain Shoaib Malik then went for 23 before Misbah-ul-Haq (19), Shahid Afridi (9) and Sohail Tanvir, Rao Iftikhar and Shoaib Akhtar, who all failed to score, were undone by the swinging ball and some brilliant catching in the outfield.

"We played 90 per cent better cricket. The total was chaseable. We have learnt today what we need to do to 'finish' a game," Malik said.


Earlier, Pakistani strike bowler Shoaib Akhtar made a fine comeback to international cricket by plucking four wickets to restrict South Africa to 233 for nine.

The controversial paceman, back in the side after a 13-match ban for his first one-dayer since September 2006, bowled with fire to trouble South Africa's batsmen on a slow pitch, taking four for 43.

Paceman Rao Iftikhar supported him well to claim 3 for 45, his third three-wicket haul in the series which is tied 2-all.

Jacques Kallis top-scored with 86 to anchor the innings after the visitors chose to bat first with opener Herschelle Gibbs hitting 10 fours in his 54.

Akhtar bowled captain Graeme Smith for a first ball a duck in the first over.

He should have also had Kallis caught behind for two runs in the third over but wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal dropped a sitter.

Kallis went on to record his 64th career fifty before Akhtar had him caught by captain Shoaib Malik in the penultimate over.

Kallis, who has struggled for form in the series, hit four fours and one six facing 130 balls.

He put on 80 from 112 balls for the second wicket with the in-form Gibbs, who was bowled by Iftikhar.

Kallis and Jean-Paul Duminy (44) put on 75 from 108 balls for the fourth wicket before South Africa lost quick wickets while adding 30 runs in the last five overs.

ThatsCricket (with inputs from Agencies)

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