Smith, Pollock help SA beat Pak

Shaun Pollock and captain Graeme Smith hit half centuries and powered South Africa to a series-leveling seven-wicket win over Pakistan.

updated: October 28, 2007 12:07 IST
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Shaun Pollock and captain Graeme Smith hit half centuries and powered South Africa to a series-leveling seven-wicket win over Pakistan in the fourth limited-overs international against Pakistan on Friday.

Pollock - promoted to the No three position - made 90 off 84 balls while Smith scored 81 off 103 balls as both shared a match-winning 159-run stand to wipe off the victory target of 231 in 37.4 overs.

Pakistan was restricted to 230-9 off its 50 overs with Younis Khan (82) grafting a fighting half century.

Rao Iftikhar removed both Pollock and Smith, but that came a bit too late to stop South Africa from registering a massive victory.

Pollock hit nine fours and a six before holing out at mid-off while Smith, who hammered seven boundaries, was also caught in the deep when South Africa needed just three for victory.

Pollock and Smith's partnership was the best second wicket stand for South Africa against Pakistan in 51 matches - beating A B de Villiers and Jacques Kallis' 155-run stand at Johannesburg in February.

The fifth and final game of the five-match series will be played in Lahore on Monday after it was shifted from the troubled port city of Karachi due to security fears.

Crucial partnership

South Africa lost Herschelle Gibbs (39) but not before the opener gave a solid platform of better than a run-a-ball 65 runs with Smith.

Gibbs hit seven boundaries before Shahid Afridi got the breakthrough off his first ball by trapping him lbw.

Smith had a lucky escape on 74 when paceman Gul dropped a return catch in an otherwise laklustre performance by Pakistan paceman as he conceded 52 runs off his five overs.

Paceman Mohammad Asif (0-64) recovered from elbow injury after missing three matches, but was also expensive off his eight overs.

Earlier, Khan made a fine half century before fast bowler Andre Nel (2-44), playing in his first game of the series, pinned down Pakistan when he took two wickets in one over.

However, Abdul Rehman (31) and wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal (28) plundered 60 runs off 65 balls that included 18 off Nel's ninth over to lift the total.

Khan shared a 91-run stand off 114 balls with captain Shoaib Malik (45) before Nel struck twice in his return spell.

Khan faced 110 balls and hit six fours and two sixes but mistimed a pull shot and skied an easy catch to midwicket. Four balls later Nel found the outside edge of Misbah-ul-Haq's (7) bat.

Pakistan slipped to 38-3 within the first 13 overs after Malik had won the toss and elected to bat first.

Khan and Malik revived the innings but the Pakistan captain fell when Jacques Kallis came on to bowl in the 32nd over and Malik drove one straight to Smith.

Off-spinner Johan Botha took two wickets in the last over - his first wickets in four games - when he removed Akmal (28) and Umar Gul (1), but still Pakistan managed to score 50 off the last five overs.