Babar Azam (103) shines in Pakistan’s nervy 3 wkt win over South Africa in 1st ODI

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A superbly classy 103 by Babar Azam and his 177 run mammoth 2nd wicket stand with bespectacled left handed opener Imam Ul Haq (70) set up a seemingly big win for  Pakistan when Anrich Nortje broke through with rapid pace  to snare 4 quick wickets rattle the hosts as they slumped from 186/1 to 203/5 before Mohammed Rizwan (40) and Shadab Khan (33) calmed Pakistan nerves with a 50 plus run stand to take Pakistan to the brink of victory before the tourists broke through again to take the game to the last ball before finally losing the game by 3 wickets . 

After the early loss of Fakkar Zaman , both Babar and Imam batted solidly and the captain was in gorgeous form playing some dazzling shots through the covers and on the on side . They looked like playing all the way till Babar got out after his attractive century snicking Nortje behind the stumps . This opened up the game for South Africa as Nortje rocked the middle order with 4 wickets bowling at lively pace. However Rizwan once again showed his ability yo soak up pressure by playing another gritty knock getting good help from Shadab before Phehlukwayo managed two late wickets to rattle the Pakistanis . Finally a cover drive from Faheem Ashtaf off the last ball of the match settled  Pakistan nerves.

Earlier Rassie Van Dussen scored a superb 123 off 134 balls to resurrect the faltering  South African innings with David Miller(50) after the top three of D Kock , Markram and Bavuma went cheaply, the first two after getting their eye in.  Dussen has been increasingly showing his ability to perform under pressure with another superb knock full of gritty strokes . The tourists innings would have gone nowhere had the Van Dussen– Miller stand did not happened . The Pakistani bowlers somehow lost the plot after having the tourists on the ropes in the first half of the innings .

Brief Score

Pakistan won by 3 wkts

RSA 273/6 (50 Ovs) 

van der Dussen    123(134)
Miller   50(56)
Shaheen Afridi     2/61
Haris Rauf    2/72

PAK       274/7 (50 Ovs) 
Babar Azam(c)    103(104)
Imam    70(80)
Nortje    4/51
Phehlukwayo    2/56

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