Proteas do well to defend middling score

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South Africa produced a much improved display of bowling, compared to their opening game last week, to beat Pakistan by 67 runs in their group B Champions Trophy encounter at Edgbaston on Monday.

South Africa produced a much improved display of bowling, compared to their opening game last week, to beat Pakistan by 67 runs in their group B Champions Trophy encounter at Edgbaston on Monday.

The Proteas had four batsmen run out, two by Misbah-ul-Haq, as only Hashim Amla coped well with the overcast, sluggish conditions to make 81 of the 234 for nine. Pakistan's bowlers were on point though, and rarely gave away bad deliveries.

The pitch then continued to slow down as Pakistan batted at an agonising pace. They never seemed to adjust to the stopping wicket, and without the ball coming onto the bat it was only Misbah who made 55 on their way to 167 all out.

South Africa won the toss and chose to bat first, thinking the wicket would be good for it. But the Pakistan pacemen were disciplined and the spinners were on target, leaving the Proteas to bat at a below-average run rate.

Colin Ingram was the first to fall, making 20 in 48 balls as he and Amla tried to negate the new balls. He was trapped in front by Mohammad Hafeez, which brought Faf du Plessis to the middle.

Amla and Du Plessis did a better, and quicker, job of rebuilding, putting on 69 together in 14 overs. Du Plessis made 28 off 40 balls before getting a short one from seven-foot fast bowler Mohammad Irfan, which he lofted to Shoaib Malik.

Amla was steady in his efforts and picked up the pace the closer he got to triple figures, but he was unable to reach that as he fell to Saeed Ajmal after facing 97 balls. He'd been batting with AB de Villiers at that stage.

The skipper was the first of four run outs as the desperation began to show. Though, De Villiers and JP Duminy, two of the Proteas' best runners, both slipped in the middle of the wicket before being caught short by Misbah.

David Miller and Robin Peterson were able to add double figure scores to the tally, but could not take advantage of the final overs. The last two wickets to fall were Chris Morris, on debut, and Aaron Phangiso, both of whom were run out.

The Pakistan batting effort was hampered from the get-go by some superb pace bowling. Lonwabo Tsotsobe, so dire against India, sent down his first five overs for just six runs, and ended up claiming the wickets of Nasir Jamshed and Misbah.

It was also a great day for ODI debutant Chris Morris, who took the first two wickets to fall. He bagged Imran Farhat for two in his first over, and then added Hafeez to his records in the eighth over, when the score was on just 18.

McLaren was the star of the attack though, taking four wickets for just 19 runs as the Pakistanis made seemingly little effort to chase the target. The paceman removed four of the middle and lower order, with Du Plessis taking a blinder to get rid of Kamran Akmal.

Spinners Aaron Phangiso and JP Duminy also tasted success, with Duminy getting rid of Shoaib Malik, while Phangiso bowled Wahab Riaz at the death as the knell sounded for Pakistan.

<b>South Africa:</b> Hashim Amla, Colin Ingram, Faf du Plessis, AB de Villiers, JP Duminy, David Miller, Ryan McLaren, Robin Peterson, Chris Morris, Aaron Phangiso, Lonwabo Tsotsobe.

<b>Pakistan:</b> Imran Farhat, Nasir Jamshed, Mohammad Hafeez, Umar Amin, Misbah-ul-Haq, Shoaib Malik, Kamran Akmal, Saeed Ajmal, Wahab Riaz, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Irfan.

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