SA will need to find a way to counterattack against Pakistan’s spinners if they are to level the one-day international series when the teams meet in Durban on Tuesday (1pm).
The squads head to Kingsmead with the visitors 1-0 up after beating the Proteas by five wickets in the opening game of five at St George’s Park in Port Elizabeth on Saturday.
SA posted an insufficient 266 for only two wickets and Pakistan paced their innings well‚ despite a few late flutters‚ to get home with five balls to spare.
Hashim Amla‚ who made an unbeaten 108‚ said Pakistan’s four spinners put the skids on any acceleration he and Rassie van Dussen had been planning.
“They managed to bowl quite a few spinners which stunted us a little bit in the middle overs and the back end. They also bowledquite a few yorkers to make it difficult for us as well.
“It was a tough pitch to bat on. I know we only lost two wickets but it was kind of tough to get the ball rolling. Their spinners bowled pretty decently.
“I think they also bowled pretty well towards the back end. We tried to score but we couldn’t get to it. It was one of those games where unfortu- nately we didn’t get the acceleration towards the back end of the innings‚” he said.
Man of the match Mohammad Hafeez‚ who steered the ship home with 71 off only 63 balls‚ said the Pakistan team were pleased when SA did not kick on to a higher total.
“I think the bowlers did the job for us‚” Hafeez said. “We restricted them from getting that par score. We were thinking 290-300 was a par score on this track but the bowlers really put in a great effort.”
There was at least one bright light for SA on the day with debutant Van der Dussen making 93 at No 3.
“Rassie batted exceptionally well‚” Amla said. “Obviously‚ someone on debut coming in is always going to have the added nerves more. It was the kind of pitch where somebody coming in finds it difficult.”
Amla also said he was pleased with the progress of Reeza Hendricks‚ who made 45. Hendricks opened with Amla in the absence of Quinton de Kock‚ who is being rested for the first two games.
“Reeza has got a few games under his belt and he’s been doing pretty well‚” he said. “He’s calm‚ composed and we know he’s a wonderful player and guys like him and Rassie will only get better because the more experience you get the more you understand different services in your own game. So he batted really well.”
Amla said the team would need to bounce back in Durban. “It’s just the first game‚ so I don’t think it’s too much of a back-foot situation. They always say you learn more from your losses so I don’t think we shouldlook too far ahead.”