Pakistan drew first blood in the opening match of five-match series with a five-wicket win over South Africa in the Port Elizabeth ODI on Saturday.
Having been set a target of 267 to win by the hosts, Sarfraz Ahmed and his men reached the target with five balls to spare in the end to complete a hard-fought win.
At the end of an engrossing ODI between the two sides, we take a look at the talking points.
AMLA CRACKS 27TH TON, DUSSEN MISSES HIS BY A WHISKER
After Faf du Plessis opted to bat first, South Africa openers Hashim Amla and Reeza Hendricks put on a commanding 82-run stand for the first wicket.
The hosts were dealt the first blow when Hendricks top-edged a Shadab Khan delivery into the hands of Hasan Ali. That brought Proteas debutant Rassie van der Dussen to the crease and the right hander immediately showed his striking prowess.
While Amla looked to collect runs, Dussen was more aggressive in his approach. Amla made his good form count by bringing up a 27th ODI ton with a flourishing six in the penultimate over.
Dussen too, was looking good for a century on his debut but he fell short by seven runs after he was caught in the deep. It was an unfortunate dismissal off a full toss for the debutant but his 155-run stand with Amla had put the hosts in a strong position.
DISCIPLINED PAKISTAN RESTRICT PROTEAS
Despite South Africa losing just two wickets in their quota of 50 overs, their batsmen were not allowed to run away thanks to some disciplined death bowling from Pakistan’s bowlers.
Shadab Khan (1-41) and Hasan Ali (1-42) were mainly responsible for drying up the scoring rates but it was in the death overs that Pakistan’s bowlers truly dazzled. Despite having nine wickets in hand at the 40-over mark, the hosts were able to collect only 76 runs from the final 10 overs and just 34 from the last five.
Their total of 266-2 was the second lowest in history by any team batting first that had lost only two wickets. For that unwanted record, full credit goes to Pakistan’s bowlers who were on point with their lines and lengths.
HAFEEZ HOLDS HIS NERVE TO GUIDE PAKISTAN OVER FINISH LINE
Pakistan got off to a decent start in their chase of 267 with a 45-run stand between openers Imam-ul-Haq and Fakhar Zaman. Once the latter fell to Duanne Olivier, Babar Azam and Imam laid a solid platform with a 94-stand for the second wicket.
Babar was unfortunate to miss out on his half-century by one run but veteran Mohammad Hafeez provided able support to Imam upon his arrival to the crease to continue the good work.
Pakistan suffered some brief hiccups in the latter half of their innings once Imam was dismissed for 86 with Sarfraz Ahmed and Shoaib Malik falling cheaply to set up a tense finish.
However, Hafeez showed all of his experience to guide Pakistan through a tricky period in the death overs and pave the way for a comfortable five-wicket win in the end. The veteran all-rounder remained unbeaten on 71 in what was a tense finish in the last few overs.