Pakistan captain : Babar Azam : Man of the Match
We tried to take advantage of the moisture on the wicket, so thanks to our bowlers for capitalising. In the powerplay, they took wickets and limited them to about 270 runs. I clearly instructed the bowlers to hit the hard length rather than bowl boundary balls. We stuck to our strategy and put restrictions on them. When I first came in, what I wanted to do was play to my strengths. I was hoping for a big collaboration with Imam, and we got it.
To be honest, I was anxious when the wickets dropped, and the pressure was on with Nortje’s spell, which he bowled superbly. Hopefully, we will be able to benefit from our errors. We need to carry the momentum from this win into the next game in order to wrap up the series.
South Africa captain: Temba Bavuma
We didn’t get the result we expected, but it was a fun game of cricket. We were put to the test in every department, and we were pushed to our limits. The series is off to a decent start, but there are still some places where we can develop. I believe the batting performance was low, especially in the first ten overs. The relationship of David and Raissa was beneficial, but it was too much to expect from them. We lost it because of the Imam-Babar stand, and we were still on the back foot after that. Our choices didn’t come off, and they looked like soft dismissals, including mine, because the guys are instinctively hostile, Aiden and Quinny up front.We need to implement the choices we choose much better than we did today. I believe we should examine areas where we can improve and carry the positives into the next game. We have to take the next two games to win the series, and there is no way around it.
For a brief moment, Shadab and Rizwan seemed tense, but they were able to form a critical fifty-fifty partnership. Rizwan, who had been so dependable, had also thrown it away, taking the score to 13 off 9. Shadab was dropped by Van de Dussen, and the next ball was a no ball. He hit the freehit for four to deliver a knockout punch, but Phehlukwayo responded with four consecutive dots of his own. With one ball to go, Ashraf got a vital two to tie the game, but 9 men in the field couldn’t avoid the final run last ball, bringing the game to a close.Pakistan will be pleased with only hanging on at the end, but the management will be dissatisfied with almost letting the game slip away when they were safely in control.
What an odd game this is. Never in a million years could I have come this close. Pakistan, on the other hand, did their normal thing, and the Proteas panicked at the end as well. There was more chaos than a cricket match at one stage, but we finally found a winner. After his side was 19/1 in 8 overs in the chase, Babar Azam put on a brilliant performance. Imam and his captain put on a fantastic 177-run stand, and they were nearly 6 RPO at one stage.After that, Bavuma turned to Anrich Nortje and asked him to use the short ball theory. Nortje rushed in and posed a threat to the batsmen. After the 13th ODI century, he got Babar Azam next ball, and then the set Imam the next over. Then he literally bowled short whenever he decided to get Danish and Asif Ali. South Africa’s tails were up after their 186/1 became 203/5.