Pakistan take first blood of the series at Newlands

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Fast bowlers Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel each clinched three key wickets and all-rounder Jacques Kalllis marked a superb return to the XI, but none were enough for South Africa to stave off a 23-run defeat to Pakistan in Sunday's first ODI at Newlands in Cape Town.

Fast bowlers Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel each clinched three key wickets and all-rounder Jacques Kalllis marked a superb return to the XI, but none were enough for South Africa to stave off a 23-run defeat to Pakistan in Sunday's first ODI at Newlands in Cape Town.

Debutants Bilawal Bhatti and Anwar Ali shared an eighth-wicket stand of 74 to rescue Pakistan from a precarious 131 for seven, then shared five wickets as Pakistan took a crucial one-nil lead in the three-match series.

Pakistan made 218 for nine in their 50 overs after winning the toss. Despite 50 from Kallis, who had not played an ODI in more than a year prior to this weekend, South Africa were bowled out for 195.

Bhatti (39) and Ali (43 not out) prospered after Pakistan's recognised batsmen struggled against a strong opposition pace attack. Bhatti took three for 37, while Ali claimed two for 24, including the crucial wicket of Kallis.

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 – Steyn, Vernon Philander and Morkel – in the same ODI team.

South Africa applied relentless pressure as Pakistan struggled. But Bhatti and Ali, who have both scored first-class centuries, prospered. Steyn took three for 33 and Morkel three for 39, while Philander claimed one for 37.

South Africa suffered an early blow when opener Hashim Amla exposed his leg stump and was bowled by left-armer Junaid Khan in the third over. The left-handed Graeme Smith followed in the next over, stumped by wicketkeeper Umar Akmal off spinner Mohammad Hafeez – although it was a fortuitous dismissal, as the ball bounced off Umar's gloves, onto the ground and into the stumps while Smith's foot was momentarily off the ground.

Kallis and the young Quinton de Kock put on 42 for the third wicket before the latter was bowled by Bhatti. Batting with calm assurance, Kallis reached 50 for the 103rd time in ODI cricket, but was then bowled by Ali.

When the hard-hitting David Miller edged Ali to Akmal, South Africa were 123 for six. The steely JP Duminy made 49 before he was caught behind, attempting a reverse sweep against spinner Saeed Ajmal and Bhatti claimed the last two wickets to seal a memorable win for the tourists.

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