Sticking to the basics pays off for Parnell

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All-rounder Wayne Parnell emerged the proud recipient of the Man of the Match award, after South Africa trumped Pakistan by a single run in Wednesday's first ODI at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium.

All-rounder Wayne Parnell emerged the proud recipient of the Man of the Match award, after South Africa trumped Pakistan by a single run in Wednesday's first ODI at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium.

Parnell's maiden half-century, which spanned 56 runs and 70 deliveries – and featured six boundaries and a solitary six – was the top score in a substandard total of 183 all out in 49.5 overs.

The talented left-arm seamer later clinched three key wickets, restricting the opposition to a marginally insufficient 182 all out in 46.3 overs. Leg-spinner Imran Tahir, meanwhile, secured telling figures of three for 45.

"I am happy as I have contributed with the bat and the ball. We had couple of training sessions and that helped me. I came in at a time when we had lost too many wickets, but I kept calm and played my natural shots," enthused Parnell. "I felt I was rushing a bit in my first over, but I stuck to the basics later on and in the end we managed to pull off a win."

Triumphant skipper AB de Villiers lauded the effort of the bowling attack, which was without the services of pace ace Dale Steyn, who has been rested for the opening two fixtures of the five-match series.

Left-arm seamer Tsotsobe's removal of batsman Umar Amin and aspiring all-rounder Sohail Tanvir in relatively quick succession proved particularly important, as Pakistan lost their final six wickets for just 17 runs.

"I was very nervous during the last overs. We didn't bat well and we just had a chat in the lunch break and backed ourselves to bowl well. I am proud of this team and we always believe we can stage a comeback," added de Villiers.

"Tahir was great and he is a wonderful performer. We had fun the whole night. Parnell was terrific and hope he continues the same form. Pakistan are a wonderful unit and we should perform consistently to win the series. The two wickets from Tsotsobe was the turning point as he picked up some important ones."

The second ODI will get underway at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.

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