Opener Hashim Amla scored a brilliant ton in the first ODI against Pakistan but it went vain as the visitors won the match by five-wickets at St George’s Park in Port Elizabeth on Saturday. Sarfraz Ahmed’s troops have now taken a 1-0 lead in the five-match series.
Amla struck a magnificent 108* off 120 deliveries which included seven fours and one huge maximum. This was Amla’s 27th ODI ton and he has become the fastest to reach that milestone. Amla broke the record of India skipper Virat Kohli who slammed his 27th ODI ton in his 169th innings. Amla took two innings less to reach this milestone.
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Fastest to 27 ODI tons (in terms of innings) –
167: Hashim Amla (SA)
169: Virat Kohli (IND)
254: Sachin Tendulkar (IND)
308: Ricky Ponting (AUS)
404: Sanath Jayasuriya (SL)
Amla also became only the fifth cricketer in the history of the format to score 27 centuries. Only Tendulkar (49), Kohli (39), Ponting (30) and Jayasuriya (28) are ahead of Amla in this illustrious list.
Despite Amla’s record-breaking innings, Pakistan won the clash courtesy of heroics from Imam-ul-Haq and Mohammad Hafeez. The left-handed Imam made a cultured 86 off 101 balls and Hafeez hit an unbeaten 71 off 63 deliveries as Pakistan chased down a target of 267 with five balls to spare.
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Pakistan’s bowlers also deserved credit for their team’s win, which came after the tourists were well-beaten in all three Test matches. Saptain Sarfraz Ahmed used his bowlers in short spells and their mixture of seam and spin proved better suited to a slow pitch than South Africa’s attack.
First Published: Jan 20, 2019 10:24 IST