Pakistan pushed the tension to the wire on Friday at Dubai to win the fourth one-dayer against South Africa with just one wicket and one ball to spare. With this classic nail-biting win, they draw level yet again and keep the series alive. Zulqarnain Haider and Wahab Riaz put on an unlikely stand for the 9th wicket before the former hit the winning run to reach the stiff target of 275.
Morne Morkel dismissed the dangerous Abdul Razzaq in the 47th over, having already got Younis Khan out for a patient 73 and it seemed that South Africa would run away with the match and the series. Pakistan needed 31 off 23 balls, but again the bowling and fielding slumped under pressure and Pakistan came out tops. Graeme Smith couldn't hold on to a catch from the blistering Wahab Riaz and then Dale Steyn leaked 12 runs in the 48th over as two short ones were pulled to fine leg.
Johan Botha missed a chance to run out Wahab when he sent in a wild throw from the outfield, allowing him to come back for a third in the 49th over while Morkel gave away two overthrows when trying to aim for the stumps in his follow-through. The drama wouldn't let up even with Pakistan needing four of the last over as Wahab was eventually run out.
Three runs were required of the last three balls, when Haider leveled the scores with a chip to midwicket. Parnell lost the chance to win the match for his side when he failed to throw the ball into the stumps. Haider sealed the deal in the next ball with a gentle nudge to square leg and the match was over.
Upto the last few overs, it appeared that South Africa has done everything right. Even though, the in-form Hashim Amla got out for 10 and Jacques Kallis followed suit, opener Graeme Smith, who was returning to the match after being out with a hand injury, pressed on. He forged a valuable partnership of nearly one hundred runs with A B de Villiers, before being LBW to Mohammed Hafeez for 92. The middle order then came to the fore with useful innings from Duminy (36) and Ingram (27) and when Miller was out for a duck, Botha came in to a muscle a few shots around. He raced to 28 off just 15 balls in an innings punctuated with 6 fours.
In response, Pakistan was positive in the start for even though Farhat went quickly to Morkel, his partner Hafeez came out with something of a blitz, hitting 42 in 29 balls. Steyn returned to remove him with a successful shout for LBW while Younis Khan and Asad Shafiq pushed on, adding 56 for the third wicket. The performance in the middle overs was patchy with Fawad Alam getting out for a mere 6 and then smallish innings from Shahid Afridi and Abdul Razzaq. But in the end, Pakistan was just able to keep it's nose in front and win. Younis Khan won a well-deserved Man of the Match for his crucial innings.