x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Parnell turns match on its head in Sharjah as Pakistan suffer another collapse

The 'hosts' lose five wickets for 12 runs and fold up after cautiously approaching a low target.

Wayne Parnell, second from left, and his South Africa teammates had a memorable win to celebrate. Photos by Hassan Ammar / AP Photo
Wayne Parnell, second from left, and his South Africa teammates had a memorable win to celebrate. Photos by Hassan Ammar / AP Photo

Toss: South Africa, chose to bat

South Africa: Parnell 56, Miller 37; Ajmal 4-30, Afridi 3-37

Pakistan: Shahzad 58, Misbah 31; Parnell 3-41, Tahir 3-45

Man of the match: Wayne Parnell (South Africa)

SHARJAH // Wayne Parnell silenced Pakistan’s partisan support with both bat and ball as South Africa struck the first blow of the limited overs series in a slow-burning classic at Sharjah Cricket Stadium.

The left-arm seam-bowler first struck a brisk half-century in his lesser suit with the bat, then set in motion with the ball the sort of collapse with which Pakistan are all too familiar.

Parnell knocked over the three Pakistan batsmen who were bringing to bear the most influence on proceedings, as Ahmed Shahzad, Mohammed Hafeez and Misbah-ul-Haq all departed when well set.

Shahzad continues to state his case as the answer to Pakistan’s long-standing woes at the top of the batting order.

The 21 year old opener struck three half centuries in five matches on the recent tour of Zimbabwe and added another one here.

His side seemed certain victors when he was at the wicket, but when he went, a decline that at first was merely alarming rapidly turned terminal.

When Morne Morkel disrupted the timber behind Mohammed Irfan, the nominal home side had lost eight wickets for 75 runs to surrender the match by a single run.

“It is really disappointing the way we finished this game,” said Misbah, the captain.

Defeat was harsh on Saeed Ajmal, who took four for 30 as South Africa limped to 183 all out.

There seemed to be only one winner when Pakistan set off in pursuit but Parnell and Imran Tahir, with three wickets apiece, ended their fragile defiance as the final six wickets fell for just 17 runs.

“We have been playing poorly for a while now and we want to put that right,” said AB de Villiers. “Hopefully performances like that with the ball will help us on that way.”

pradley@thenational.ae

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