Cape Town - A game-changing 73-run partnership between Rohail Nazir and Haris Khan was the difference as Pakistan defeated the South Africa under-19s by four wickets in the second Youth One-Day International (ODI) in Pietermaritzburg on Tuesday.
The triumph gives the tourist a two-nil lead in the series, with five matches to play.
After a delayed start due to a wet pitch, the match was restricted to a 47-over contest. The home side posted an underwhelming 215 all out in 44 overs before Pakistan replied with 218/6 in 39.5 overs thanks in main to two half-centuries from Nazir (67 off 81 balls; 10 fours, 1 six) and Khan (60* off 53 balls; 9 fours).
With the bat, South Africa made an indifferent start after they found themselves three down in the seventh over, with Akhtar Shah and Naseem Shah (3/30) exploiting the overcast conditions early on. Despite wickets falling around him, opening batsman Andrew Louw stuck around. He formed two partnerships in the thirties with Khanya Cotani (17) and Micheal Copeland (7) before combining with Gerald Coetzee (29) for a vital 60-run stand for the seventh wicket, which saw the tall Northern Cape-born batter reach his maiden Youth ODI fifty.
The right-hander then became A. Shah's second scalp of the day, as he was eventually out for a well-played 91 (off 114 balls; 13 fours, 1 six), with the fast bowler then wrapping up the hosts' innings and ending with figures of 3/42.
Pakistan's outing with the bat started in a similar fashion as their opponent's, with SA under-19s captain, Bryce Parsons (2/46) once again shining with the ball, taking two early wickets after opening the attack with Achille Cloete (2/34). Although they found themselves struggling at 28/3, Nazir teamed up with Qasim Akram (22) and Khan to help rebuild the innings, scoring at well over five an over in the middle periods.
Despite the loss of Nazir's wicket, Khan soldiered on under the increased pressure from South Africa and found a suitable partner in Irfan Niazi, who's unbeaten 33 propelled the sub-continent outfit to victory with over seven overs to spare.
Khan was named the Man of the Match as he finished unbeaten at the crease to see his side home.
The two sides will just have one day's rest before the third Youth ODI, taking place on Thursday.
South Africa U19 squad: Bryce Parsons (captain, Gauteng), Luke Beaufort (Eastern Province), Jonathan Bird (Western Province), Achille Cloete (Boland), Gerald Coetzee (Free State), Khanya Cotani (North West), Micheal Copeland (Gauteng), Andrew Louw (Free State), Akeem Minnaar (Boland), Lifa Ntanzi (KZN Coastal), Imraan Philander (Western Province), Siya Plaatjie (Western Province), Ruan Terblanche (Boland), Tiaan van Vuuren (Eastern Province), Nonelela Yikha (Border).