All-rounder Kallis fires South Africa to series win

Dubai: All-rounder Jacques Kallis scored a brilliant half-century and took three wickets to guide South Africa to a commanding 57-run win over Pakistan in the fifth and final one-day international here on Monday.

The 35-year-old scored 83 - one of four half-centuries in the innings - to steer South Africa to an imposing 317-5 before he took 3-30 to dismiss Pakistan for 260 in reply, giving South Africa a 3-2 series win.

Pakistan, hoping to win their first-ever bilateral series win over South Africa, were cruising along nicely with openers Mohammad Hafeez (59) and Shahzaib Hasan (39) gave them a robust 82-run start in their quest for their third best-ever chase in one-day cricket.

But Kallis derailed Pakistan’s innings with a triple strike in as many overs, removing Hasan, Younis Khan (three) and Mohammad Yousuf (three) off 13 balls to make his opponents struggle from 82-0 to 96-3.

As if his batting and bowling were not enough, Kallis took a well-judged catch at long-on off fellow paceman Dale Steyn to dismiss Hafeez in the 23rd over.

Umar Akmal (60) and Abdul Razzaq (39) briefly threatened during their firy 60-run sixth wicket partnership before South Africa wrapped up the innings in the 45th over.

Akmal hit three sixes and one boundary during his 71-ball knock.

South African skipper Graeme Smith praised the team effort.

“It was really a good effort from the team,” said Smith. “We batted with freedom to put a great total and then put pressure on Pakistan to clinch the series.”

Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi was disappointed with his men’s bowling.

“I think we bowled badly to start with and then were very poor in the final overs. It needed a big effort to win, which wasn’t there.”

The series deciding match, after both teams won two matches each, started on a dramatic note when Pakistan wicket-keeper Zulqarnain Haider went missing from the team hotel and did not come to the ground.

Pakistan Cricket Board later said they will launch an inquiry into Haider’s case after he, without informing team management, reportedly reached London after receiving threats from persons unknown.

It was Kallis who built South African innings after Smith won the toss and decided to bat.

Kallis propelled the total during his 95-ball innings, adding an invaluable 121 with AB de Villiers (61) for the third wicket and another 61 for the second wicket with Hashim Amla (62).

Kallis, who scored a brilliant 66 in the first match, hit four boundaries before he cut leg-spinner Afridi straight into the hands of Wahab Riaz in the 39th over.

When Kallis reached 81, he completed 11,000 one-day runs in his 307th match. He became the sixth batsmen to score 11,000 or more runs in 50-over format of the game.

India’s Sachin Tendulkar (17598), Sri Lankan Sanath Jayasuriya (13428), Australian Ricky Ponting (13082), Pakistan’s Inzamam-ul-Haq (11739) and Indian Sourav Ganguly (11363) were the others to cross the 11,000-run mark.

Graeme Smith (14) and Amla started at brisk pace to take their team to 37 inside five overs, when Akhtar removed the South African skipper, caught by Afridi.

Amla, when on 23 reached 1,000 one-day runs in 2010, hit eight boundaries and a six to reach his tenth fifty. He hit one more four before holing out to Afridi after his brisk 47-ball knock.

De Villiers hit five boundaries during his 72-ball knock.

Jean-Paul Duminy (59 not out) and Johan Botha (28 not out) put on a rapid-fire 89 off just 65 balls for unfinished sixth wicket stand, as none of the Pakistani bowlers could stop the run-flow, with Akhtar conceding 77 runs in seven overs.

Duminy hit eight boundaries during his 41-ball knock.

The two teams now play the first of two Tests in Dubai from November 12. The second Test starts in Abu Dhabi from November 20.

Bureau Report