‘Selfish’ South African star slammed

Hashim Amla was slammed for a "selfish" innings as Pakistan got one back on South Africa by winning the first one-day international by five wickets on Saturday.

The tourists were whitewashed 3-0 in the tests but found the change to limited-overs cricket to their liking as they took an early advantage in the five-match series.

Experienced batsman Mohammad Hafeez, brought in for the ODIs, secured victory with 71 not out as his side finished on 267-5 to win with five balls to spare.

Earlier, Amla made 108 not out and Rassie van der Dussen hit 93 on his ODI debut as South Africa set a target of 266-2.

Despite their 155-run partnership for the second wicket, South Africa didn't push on to the big score that seemed achievable.

South Africa was 160-1 after 35 overs but failed to capitalise and added just 76 runs in the last 10 overs despite having wickets in hand.

Amla made his 27th ODI hundred while van der Dussen was caught at mid-off chasing quick runs at the end. The home team's attempt at accelerating came too late.

"Those two guys batted really well but there were probably 15 or 20 more runs that we could have scored if we had pushed a bit harder," said South African captain Faf du Plessis. "Pakistan bowled really well in the middle overs."

Pakistan's chase was comfortable until opener Imam-ul-Haq was dismissed for 86, the first of three quick wickets near the end. The 38-year-old Hafeez saw his side home with his 35th ODI half-century.

"We were confident because we knew 266 was not a par score on this track. The first win of the series is very important," the man of the match said.

Hafeez hit eight fours and two sixes. The first six off fast bowler Duanne Olivier landed on the roof of one of the stands and bounced out of the St. George's Park stadium.

Olivier was Pakistan's chief destroyer in the test series but couldn't bring his form to the short format on his ODI debut, with the tourists enjoying the slow Port Elizabeth pitch.

Bowlers Shadab Khan and Hasan Ali took the wickets but crucially kept the South Africans in check with economy rates of less than five an over.

Imam and Babar Azam (49) then laid the foundation for the successful chase with a 94-run stand for the second wicket and Hafeez finished it off.

News Corp Australia


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