DateLine: 4th February 2007
South Africa went on a batting rampage to set up a comprehensive 164-run win over Pakistan in the first one-day international at Centurion Park Sunday.
South Africa hammered 392 for six after being sent in and then bowled out the tourists for 228.
To add to a miserable day for Pakistan, Shahid Afridi risked disciplinary action when he prodded his bat at a barracking spectator as he walked up the steps to the dressing room after being dismissed.
South Africa's innings was built on two century partnerships at far better than a run a ball on an excellent batting pitch.
Captain Graeme Smith (72) and AB de Villiers (67) gave South Africa an explosive start, putting on 140 off 112 balls for the first wicket.
But that was made to seem relatively pedestrian as Jacques Kallis (88 not out) and Mark Boucher (78) thrashed 128 off 66 balls for the fifth wicket, with Boucher making his runs off just 38 balls.
It was the seventh highest total in one-day internationals and the highest conceded by Pakistan, whose previous worst was 363 for seven by England at Nottingham in 1992.
The Pakistan bowlers took a pounding and made their situation worse by sending down 16 wides and nine no-balls.
Pakistan's batsmen went for their shots in search of an unlikely victory but four wickets fell in the first 12 overs.
Mohammad Yousuf made a stroke-filled 39 off 25 balls as he and captain Inzamam-ul-Haq put on 49 for the fifth wicket. But both men were in the space of four balls with the total on 119.
Pakistan slid to 125 for eight and were in danger of suffering the biggest defeat by a margin of runs in one-day internationals before Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Sami reduced the deficit below the 256 runs by which Australia beat Namibia in Potchefstroom during the 2003 World Cup.
With the intensity out of the match, Malik and Sami put on 73 for the ninth wicket off a pedestrian 119 balls, with Malik making an unbeaten 52 and Sami a career-best 46.
Smith and De Villiers gave South Africa a flying start before the introduction of spin in the 19th over brought two wickets and a slowing down of the scoring rate.
Smith charged down the pitch and was stumped by Kamran Akmal off the second ball from off-spinner Mohammad Hafeez after bludgeoning 72 off 47 balls.
The South African captain hit 15 boundaries, including six in succession off Rana Naved-ul-Hasan, who conceded 27 runs in a nightmare over which included two wides and a no-ball.
Smith's innings followed his unbeaten 70 off 40 balls in Twenty20 international at the Wanderers in Johannesburg Friday.
Boucher thrashed nine fours and four sixes.
Mohammad Asif, the most impressive Pakistan bowler in an opening spell in which he conceded 33 runs off eight overs, gave up 28 runs in his only other over, including two sixes and two fours by Boucher, a four by Kallis and two no-balls. It was the joint third most runs in an over in one-day internationals.
Hafeez and Razzaq both conceded 22 runs in a single over as the batsmen cut loose.
Inzamam returned to the side after recovering from a back injury. His decision to send South Africa in was based on a good record for teams chasing targets at Centurion but Pakistan were required to beat their own highest score in one-day internationals, 371 for nine against Sri Lanka in Nairobi in 1996/97.
(Article: Copyright © 2007 AFP)
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