November 24 2013 at 07:35pm
Debutants Bilawal Bhatti and Anwar Ali spurred Pakistan to victory after their team had been in deep trouble in the first one-day international against South Africa at Newlands on Sunday.
The newcomers shared an eighth wicket stand of 74 to rescue Pakistan from a precarious 131 for seven, then shared five wickets as Pakistan won by 23 runs.
Pakistan made 218 for nine in their 50 overs after winning the toss. Despite a half-century from returning veteran Jacques Kallis, South Africa were bowled out for 195.
Bhatti (39) and Ali (43 not out) prospered after Pakistan's recognised batsmen struggled against a strong South African pace attack.
For the first time since South Africa began their rise to the top of the Test rankings, the hosts fielded all three of their leading fast bowlers - Dale Steyn, Vernon Philander and Morne Morkel - in the same one-day side.
With Jacques Kallis returning for his first one-day international since February 2012, South Africa applied relentless pressure as Pakistan struggled. But Bhatti and Ali went for their shots to keep their side in the game.
Steyn took three for 33 and Morkel three for 39, while Philander claimed one for 37.
Nasir Jamshed and Ahmed Shehzad put on 49 for the first wicket but Steyn dismissed Jamshed in the 16th over and followed up with the wicket of Mohammad Hafeez, both caught in the slips.
Pakistan's leading batsmen were unable to build any substantial partnerships and could not lift the scoring rate. They looked to be headed for a low total when Shahid Afridi was bowled by Steyn in the first over of the batting power play.
But Bhatti and Ali, both playing in their first one-day internationals, put on 74 off 70 balls. Bhatti made 39 off 25 balls, hitting three fours and two sixes, while Ali hit six fours in a 55-ball 43 not out.
South Africa suffered an early blow when Hashim Amla exposed his leg stump and was bowled by Junaid Khan in the third over of their innings. Graeme Smith followed in the next over, stumped by Umar Akmal off Mohammad Hafeez, although it was a fortuitous dismissal for the wicketkeeper as the ball bounced off his gloves, onto the ground and into the stumps while Smith's foot was momentarily off the ground.
Kallis and Quinton de Kock put on 42 for the third wicket before De Kock was bowled by Bhatti.
Batting with calm assurance, Kallis reached 50 for the 103rd time in one-day internationals but was then bowled by Ali, edging an in-swinging delivery from Ali off the bottom of his bat into the stumps.
JP Duminy made 49 before he was caught behind, attempting a reverse sweep against Saeed Ajmal and Bhatti claimed the last two wickets to seal a memorable win for the tourists, who were beaten 4-1 by the same opponents in a recent series in the United Arab Emirates.