Giant seamer Mohammad Irfan and captain Misbah-ul-Haq led Pakistan to a comprehensive victory by six wickets in the second Momentum one-day international at Supersport Park in Centurion to level the five-match series at one-all.
Irfan claimed 4-33 in seven consecutive overs with the new ball and Misbah finished unbeaten on 57 from 73 balls as the tourists comfortably chased down a modest victory target of 192 with 28 balls to spare.
AB de Villiers’ decision to bat first was justified by conditions but undone horribly by some fine seam bowling and a top order galloping along at six runs per over despite the regular clatter of wickets.
The top five batsmen were all dismissed inside the first 11 overs with 62 runs on the board.
Hashim Amla’s characteristic flying start ended with a thin edge to the ‘keeper against Irfan for 17 from 16 balls and Colin Ingram departed first ball in the same fashion although third umpire Kumar Dharmasena had to look long and hard to find evidence of an edge on appeal from the fielding side.
De Villiers’ attempt to run an Irfan delivery to third man ended in the hands of Younis Khan at slip and Graeme Smith (10) nudged a pull shot against Junaid Khan to Kamran Akmal behind the stumps. Faf du Plessis (17) could do little against a steep lifter from Irfan which crashed into his gloves before looping back to the bowler.
Farhaan Behardien played with enormous confidence and maturity, scoring at a run a ball without appearing to take risks and repaired some of the early damage with partnerships of 44 with Ryan McLaren (17) and 67 with Robbie Peterson (44).
Behardien pulled a short ball from spinner Mohammad Hafeez to deep mid wicket and departed for 58 from 82 balls just moments before a torrential thunderstorm struck the ground and forced a delay of almost two hours.
With the game reduced to 44 overs per side, South Africa managed just another 14 runs in the five overs remaining of their innings with Peterson last man out for 44 from 67 balls.
The total was considerably below par and Hafeez made it look even more so with a quick fire 31 and Younis continued the good work with 32 from 41 balls before sweeping a Peterson full toss to Amla and deep square leg.
At 115-4 the Proteas may have sniffed an upset but Misbah was comfortably escorted to victory by Shoaib Malik who finished unbeaten on 35.
The third match of the series is a day game at the Wanderers on Sunday 17th.