South Africa are rattling through their overs now, and it appear's Pakistan's batsmen's feet are stuck in mud as Younis and Misbah find nothing more than a pair of singles from McLaren's over. I know they say Misbah is good at absorbing pressure, but he's going to have more and more to absorb if he doesn't help his partner to get this scoreboard ticking over. South Africa are buzzing in the field.
De Villiers recalls Robin Peterson, and has a man at slip with Misbah on strike. Peterson comes round the wicket, looping the ball up enticingly outside off and getting it either to zip away or rush on with the arm. If Misbah is flustered, he doesn't show it, but nor is he able to manoeuvre the ball around enough to get off the mark.
WICKET! McLaren bullies Shafiq from the crease, and South Africa have another. McLaren is bowling with decent pace, hurrying Younis' pull shot with a 140kph bouncer and then drawing a wild top edge from Shafiq, the ball swirling down towards fine leg where Abbott tumbled forward to hold a sharp catch close to the turf. Enter Misbah. He and Younis have to mastermind this chase now, with Pakistan stumbling.
Another quiet over takes Pakistan and South Africa to drinks. The visitors are racking up plenty of dot balls, and the chase is meandering away from them as the South African bowlers are allowed to settle.
Ryan McLaren is into the attack now, and starts steadily enough. Younis Khan cuts two runs through cover point, but is then beaten playing a flashy drive. A single puts a defensive Shafiq on strike, and he sees out the over.
Kyle Abbott comes back into the attack after the wicket, and quickly zones in on a good length that won't allow the batsmen to get either fully forward or back. Younis and Shafiq both scurry singles to cover point, Abbott keeping things nice and tight.
WICKET! Hafeez is run out in desperately unlucky circumstances. Younis had driven a length ball firmly back towards the bowler, who got a finger to it before the ball crashed into the non-striker's stumps with Hafeez out of his ground. The batsmen continue to run, despite South Africa's appeal, as the ball is still live. When it's finally returned, the umpire calls for the television replay. Kleinveldt claimed the dismissal straight away, but going on the television replay it looks quite a tight call - but one that's got to go against the batsman. By the way, if you'd like to discuss any element of this match with me, or even just say hi, you can find me on Twitter under the handle 'Gomorezvidinha'.
Robin Peterson replaces Tsotsobe, and he's convinced he's had Younis caught behind as one grips and rips square into de Villiers' gloves. Umpire Cloete won't give it, and Younis himself urges AB to back himself and ask for a review. De Villiers falls for it, and the review shows that bat was nowhere near ball. Still, it is spinning and Peterson will be a threat.
Kleinveldt bustles through his second maiden in three overs, and in fact should also have had a wicket in this one! He struck Hafeez a stinging blow with a short one that beat the batsman's pull shot, and then went up for a vociferous caught behind appeal after Hafeez missed a second pull. Kleinveldt wanted to review it, but he's shot down by Smith and Peterson. Definite edge on that one!
A cut and a pull brings twos on this big outfield, but Tsotsobe's changes of pace otherwise take the sting out of Hafeez' shots.
WICKET! Kleinveldt breaks through for South Africa! It was the line that did for Jamshed, and a touch of extra bounce. The thick-set left-hander poked at one that lifted off a length outside off, and Smith held a regulation catch at first slip. Younis Khan enters the fray, but he's unable to get off the mark in the remaining five deliveries, such are the tightness of Kleinveldt's lines.
South Africa don't look like taking a wicket with the ball, but if Hafeez and Jamshed don't sort their running out, there could well be a dismissal soon. Hafeez shrugs off the indecisive running with a spanking square drive, on the up, to a Tsotsobe offcutter. Typically mercurial stuff from Pakistan. Atypically, the over ends with a dropped catch by none other than Faf du Plessis at point, the ball having looped gently to him off a leading edge. Hafeez has a life.
Jamshed rockets into the 20s with a brace of cover drives! Rory Kleinveldt, on for Abbott, came round the wicket to him in this over, but continued to pitch the ball right up as Abbott had been doing. Jamshed leaned into the first stroke, placing the ball right through the gap, and so de Villiers brought a man in to short extra cover. It made no difference, however, as Jamshed immediately laced an even better drive right past him. Nine runs come from the over, and Pakistan are looking pretty solid.
Tsotsobe has quickly adjusted to conditions. He started off floating them up, searching for swing - and he did find some movement, but not enough to force a false stroke from the batsmen. So he's pulled back his pace and his length, looking instead to cut the ball off the surface. The change in tactic helps him to keep the batsmen to just three singles in the over.
The runs flow once more! Jamshed is helped by some shoddy fielding down at third man, Tsotsobe the culprit as he lets one straight through his legs. Jamshed reaches the boundary again from the very next delivery, but this time it's the bowler's fault, Abbott offering a gift of a delivery down the leg side. Jamshed just had to get bat on that one. South Africa's bowling attack looks a lot less threatening without Steyn and Morkel!
Tsotsobe gets another delivery to lift on Hafeez outside off, but again it's played with soft hands and the ball falls well short of the catching fielder. It appears there's plenty of chatter coming from the South African fielders, so much so that Hafeez has another word with the umpire. It doesn't look like the sledging is affecting his batting that much as he rocks back to lift a pull to the vacant square leg boundary, Tsotsobe slipping too short.
Abbott, like Tsotsobe, starts accurately enough and pitches the ball right up, searching for swing. Hafeez slots a drive through extra cover, and an adjustment from Abbott then brings a controlled edge down to third man. Jamshed kick-starts his own innings with a firm punch through mid-on, and Pakistan's chase is up and running. Both South African opening bowlers have pitched the ball up, looking for swing.
Tsotsobe starts well, shaping the ball in to the right-hander to trouble Hafeez' defense. The Pakistan opener slots a drive through extra cover to get off the mark with three, but then engages in a lengthy conversation with Umpire Johan Cloete - apparently about the sledging emanating from South Africa's slips.
South Africa have reached a good total, but one that is about par on this superb batting track. Pakistan's new-ball bowlers did a decent, but luckless, job up front, but South Africa were steadied by a series of good partnerships. Smith and Amla put on 72, while de Villiers and Ingram really set a solid base in their stand of 120 for the 3rd wicket. Ingram kept things going in stands of 62 with du Plessis, and an unbeaten 50 with Behardien to cap things off. The hosts still have cause to be wary, however, and Pakistan's batsmen will be hard to contain. Join us in half an hour or so for the chase.
Ingram goes to his third one-day century by angling his bat to slot a drive through extra cover. Fantastic placement. It's his second ton against Pakistan, and his second in Bloemfontein. He celebrates the landmark by clubbing a length delivery to wide long on immediately afterwards, and some quick running takes the fifth-wicket partnership to exactly 50 in just 23 deliveries. Great finish for South Africa - but Pakistan will still fancy their chances.
Behardien doesn't have the most sturdy looking frame - and in fact he's probably what you'd call 'skinny', but he's got the ability to clear this big boundary with ease. A Khan full toss is hammered cleanly over long on, and a pull is then bludgeoned over Jamshed's head at deep midwicket. Junaid pulls things back a touch by attacking Ingram's stumps, but the damage has been done.
Behardien doesn't have much time to play himself in, but on this evidence he doesn't need to. He opens Gul's over by threading a slower ball through the covers for four, and then picks up three more by somehow digging a yorker out past short fine leg for three. Ingram scoops a square drive over backward point to move within one stroke of his century, and Behardien caps a fine over for the hosts by slotting another drive through extra cover.
WICKET! Du Plessis has attempted the scoop a couple of times, unsuccessfully, and now the shot has cost him his wicket. He shuffled right across and tried to lap Junaid over short fine leg, but could only pop the ball tamely to Umar Gul in that position. Ingram digs out a fantastic yorker to move to 90, and Behardien is off the mark with a slapped pull that rolls past Jamshed's portly frame.
Ingram moves through the 80s with an edged cut that flies past a leaping Kamran Akmal and down to third man for four. An attempted upper-cut meets nothing but fresh air, and Gul then rattles the splice as Ingram swivel's into an ill-timed pull, the ball looping up and landing in no-man's land on the leg side. If Pakistan can keep South Africa to under 300, they'll have done really well on this pitch.
Ingram and du Plessis hack, slog and swish their way through Ajmal's final over, and du Plessis is eventually able to find a boundary down the ground. In that regard, however, he's greatly helped by some inept fielding from Junaid Khan, who was at long on but came in much too far as the ball arced towards him ... and over his head for four!
Ajmal and Gul are Pakistan's senior bowling pair, and they're doing a sterling job of denying South Africa boundaries. Faf du Plessis has looked a little off-colour today, and he misses yet another ramp off Gul. Ingram, meanwhile, finds all of his runs down to third man as he attempts to attack the off side.
Jamshed searches for absolution! Du Plessis top-edged a sweep out into the deep, and Jamshed went charging round the boundary from midwicket. He had a lot of ground to make, but managed to get his hands to the ball and flick it back before hurtling head-first into the advertising board. His effort saves the boundary, and a miserly Ajmal keeps them to four from the over.
Gul proves hard to get away, mixing his lengths up and attacking the stumps with a couple of yorkers. There's a moment of alarm for du Plessis when he misses an attempted scoop and the ball actually appears to flick the off stump ... but doesn't remove the bail! Both batsmen are searching for the boundary, but Gul is too good for them in this over.
Ajmal is in a class all of his own. With South Africa on the charge, he's reeled things in with an over of guile and deception, beating Ingram multiple times and giving away just three singles. He's got just two overs left, but Umar Gul, Pakistan's death-bowling specialist, is due to come on next.
Boundaries ease the pressure! The game pivots on this Afridi over, five boundaries and 21 runs coming from it. The first was gifted by an almost heroically bad piece of fielding by Nasir Jamshed at long leg, the bumbling fielder tripping over a sweep shot, but then the runs really started to flow. Ingram shoveled a drive through cover, before du Plessis lapped one up and over point, thrashed a backfoot punch through extra cover, and finished the over with a sweep to fine leg.
Misbah brings a slip in for du Plessis, who appears a little clueless at Ajmal's variations. There are a couple of plaintive lbw shouts from the bowler and Akmal behind the stumps, but du Plessis pokes, prods and somehow survives the over. Pakistan are doing well to keep him on strike.
There's an interminable delay as Billy Bowden adjudicates a review against Ingram, but eventually it's called not out as replays show ball touching glove. Afridi was the bowler, and he thought he had has men when Ingram missed a sweep and was struck on the pad. He was adamant, barely even waiting for Misbah before calling for the review, but Ingram didn't quite miss the ball, and he's saved by the glove.
WICKET! Ajmal breaks through for Pakistan! He came round the wicket to de Villiers, and offered up a short ball outside off that should have been spanked through cover. De Villiers was trying to do just that, but aimed his shot straight at Younis Khan to depart for 65. The dismissal has Ajmal really pumped, and there's an optimistic lbw appeal against du Plessis first ball. Just two runs off the over.
Misbah calls upon Afridi, with a ring of fielders in the covers but no-one out in the deep. De Villiers takes advantage of the gap by stepping out to lift the ball over extra cover for four, but a crease-bound Ingram is less effective.
Saeed Ajmal continues after the short refreshments interval, and his lines are generally much tighter as he keeps the batsmen to four singles from the over. Ingram cuts the final ball to short third man, and the rocket-like shy goes to Ajmal's end ... The bowler holds the stinging throw, and offers the fielder a quizzical look in return, which I can't decode. Good, hard running from the batsmen. Ah, and it's time now for the Bowling Powerplay. Who will Misbah turn to?
Junaid continues, and plugs away on a decent length to keep the batsmen to ones and twos. He ends the over by going much wider on the delivery, Ingram flashing to no avail outside off. South Africa have built a solid platform here, and it's time for drinks at Centurion.
A twinkle-toed AB de Villiers goes to a fifty of his own by stepping back to slap Ajmal up and over extra cover - his 30th fifty in ODIs. Ajmal follows up with a horrid long-hop that de Villiers pulls for a second boundary, and then flings the ball even further down leg to be called wide. As Pakistan's go-to bowler, he's got to tighten up if South Africa are to be restrained.
Colin Ingram goes to fifty with a glide to fifty off the returning Junaid Khan - his second fifty in ODIs. The ball barely moves off the straight for Junaid, such is the flatness of this track.
Saeed Ajmal's return brings no joy for Pakistan. He starts promisingly, Ingram unsure whether to play or leave outside off, but the offspinner's lengths are off and he's put away for two boundaries: a powerful sweep to long leg, and a scything cut that races through backward point.
De Villiers is starting to pick the gaps really well. He flicks a brace of twos to midwicket, and then finds his first boundary with a perfectly-placed chip to wide long on. Another hard-run two takes the partnership into the 80s.
Hafeez completes his work with the ball for the day with another reasonably tight over. Again, it's just singles on offer for the batsmen with the field spread - six of them.
The batsmen continue to go hard at the bowling, looking for the boundary that will break the shackles. But Shoaib Malik has more than 200 ODIs, and 140 one-day wickets, to his name, and keeps them to just singles in an over that goes for five.
Both Ingram and de Villiers use their feet to get down the track repeatedly as Hafeez continues, but the wily offspinner spots them coming almost every time to keep the runs from the over down to three. Pakistan are doing well to string dot balls together every now and then: 25 of the last 67 have been dots.
Misbah calls upon Shoaib Malik, and he immediately shows how useful he can be as a back-up bowler by fizzing an offspinner past Ingram's outside edge. AB de Villiers is a little more comfortable as he reverse-sweeps three runs through backward point, and a sharp single to end the over makes it a decent one for South Africa.
Ingram repeatedly pings the fielders at backward point and extra cover, but eventually forces one past them to bring up the fifty partnership, from 55 balls.
Afridi runs his fingers through his luxurious hair a couple of times before the over begins, but unlike Samson his talisman brings him no luck, and Ingram and de Villiers flick, punch and glance their way to another six runs from the over. This partnership is now worth 48, at better than a run a ball.
De Villiers fetches the ball repeatedly into the leg side, even when Hafeez floats it up well wide of off stump. Ingram peppers the field in the arc between backward point and long off, and both batsmen put the fielders under pressure with their running between the wickets, taking six runs from the over.
Ingram is starting to flow now. He aims a powerful sweep through square leg, the fielder diving in vain even as the square leg Umpire took evasive action. Another sweep is intercepted at fine leg, but the stroke convinces Afridi to come round the wicket ... and Ingram cuts through point for three more. Eleven from the over.
Ingram shows a good all-round game in picking runs off Hafeez through both the leg and off sides. De Villiers is generally content to play with the spin to leg, and there's some hustle in the batting as five runs come from the over.
There's not much purchase off the track for Afridi, but then there never really is for him. He's a darter, more than a flighter, and a wide down the leg side adds to the four singles milked from the over.
Ingram is put under pressure by some tight lines from Hafeez, and breaks free with a heaved sweep to deep midwicket. The ball doesn't come out of the middle of the bat, but it's hit well enough to go for four. De Villiers' quick hands and feet also help to take 8 runs from the over.
Ingram is off the mark with a glance into the leg side off Afridi, and then squeezes a coupe more runs through backward point. De Villiers, in the meantime, continues to milk the bowling with relative ease. These wickets have given Pakistan an in here, and there spinners haven't relinquished control.
WICKET! Both openers depart! Amla had been playing Hafeez pretty well, but wanted a boundary rather than ones and twos, and so bent into a slog sweep ... that was top-edged out to Shoaib Malik in the deep. A wide-eyed Ingram is beaten outside off second ball, but sees out the over.
Shahid Afridi is back into action for Pakistan with a tight first over. Instead of looking for runs on the leg side, Amla and de Villiers aim for cover point for their singles, of which there are three.
Mohammad Hafeez is rather more easy to read than Ajmal, and both Amla and de Villiers use their feet well to find runs on the leg side. They are the no. 1 and no. 2 rated batsmen in one-day cricket, and they certainly look like it. Six from the over.
WICKET! Yet more excitement as Ajmal continues to weave his web of deception. There's a plaintive cry of "catch it!" as an inside edge balloons off Amla's pad, but the ball drops safely. Smith isn't quite so lucky as he attempts a reverse sweep to one that comes in to him from around the wicket, striking him flush on the glove and looping up so gently that even Kamran Akmal is able to cling onto it. South Africa tinker with the batting line-up as AB de Villiers comes in ahead of Colin Ingram, but he's off the mark straight away with a sweep.
Hafeez' first ball keeps a little low, scuttling under Smith's attempted hack to off, but any demons in the pitch are tamed as Amla leans back to time a backfoot punch through cover point. Sublime timing.
The mesmeric Saeed Ajmal comes on, and immediately has Smith poking in vain outside off ... but Kamran fumbles once again, so the stumping wasn't on. It might not have been anyway, though Smith's back leg did seem to lift as the ball spun past him. Ajmal takes it in his stride, but his bad luck for the over isn't spent, and Amla very nearly runs past an offspinner ... but the ball takes a thick inside edge and bounces down to fine leg for four.
Misbah calls upon Mohammad Hafeez' offspin, and he almost creates a chance as Smith backs right away to leg and misses a cut ... but the ball goes on with the arm, missing the leg stump and bouncing off Kamran's iron gloves. There was no edge on it, and they take a bye. Asad Shafiq ends the over by pulling off a clean stop at backward point to save four runs.
Gul finds the outside edge of Amla's bat once again, but the ball is played with soft hands and it runs down quite fine to third man for four. Misbah brings in a second man at slip, but the horse has bolted and some good running means South Africa take 10 runs from the over. South Africa are tipping the balance after taking 50 from the Powerplay, and as they're going well they decide to take the Batting Powerplay straight away.
The South African batsmen are starting to motor now. Both men use their feet to manufacture singles, and there's a lapse in the field as a return bursts through Kamran Akmal's gloves and gives away overthrows. In between times, though, Junaid still threatens by beating Smith's swishing blade twice, and the game remains evenly poised.
The battle was weighted towards the bowlers at the start, but things are looking more even now. Smith swivels into a barrel-chested short-arm jab to deep midwicket for two, and repeats the stroke with rather more vim three deliveries later to pick up his third boundary.
Well, Smith is starting to flow now. He's aided by Junaid's helpful lines, muscling a glance to deep midwicket and then punting a full ball on off stump back over the bowler's head for his second boundary. But there's still a little something in this track, and when Junaid bends his back he finds enough to beat the outside edge.
Umar Gul is in the midst of a fearsome spell of bowling. He is all over Amla in this over, storming to the crease to unleash a succession of stinging lifters outside off stump, each ball quicker than the last. He beats the outside edge several times in the course of the over, but an inside edge flies to the fine leg boundary - such is the pace on the ball - and an outside edge drops short of slip. How long can Pakistan keep this pressure up?
A misfield from Hafeez at point allows Amla to add two to the total, and when Junaid loses his length and slips in a short one, he adds four more with a fierce pull to midwicket. Junaid's line and length is far more testing as he finds the inside edge of Amla's backfoot punch. The ball rolls to short fine leg, and there's almost a collision between the batsmen as they take a quick single. Smith continues to scratch around like a farmyard hen, ending the over with a leading edge to point.
That shot from Amla was absolutely top drawer, but Smith is looking decidedly more scratchy at the other end. Gul is really pumping his stilt-like legs as he thunders to the crease, and he finds pace and movement to keep Smith rooted to the crease. The burly South African tries shuffling to off, backing away, aiming for the off side and the leg, but nothing comes off.
Junaid continues the good work. His length draws Amla forward, and some slippery movement has the right-hander in trouble. Junaid curves consecutive deliveries in to strike Amla's pads, his appeals growing ever more fervent, but this bouncy track rules out the first shout, and the second pitched well outside leg. Amla's riposte is to crunch the final ball of the over through cover point, driving through the line and on the up.
Umar Gul, who took a wrecking ball to South Africa's batting in the T20 at Centurion, shares the early duties for Pakistan. As you'd expect, he makes a bristling start, beating Smith's outside edge with consecutive lifters outside off. Smith's response is to shuffle further and further across to the off side, but he can't get the ball off the square in the course of a maiden.
Junaid Khan takes the new ball for Pakistan, and tests Smith outside off stump with his first couple of deliveries before slinging one in and asking a question of the umpire ball struck pad. It was very high, however, and Smith is off the mark soon afterwards with a characteristic nudge through square leg. A slash outside off puts Amla on strike, and the right-hander makes a watchful start.
Graeme Smith, Hashim Amla, Colin Ingram, AB de Villiers, Faf du Plessis, Farhaan Behardien, Ryan McLaren, Robin Peterson, Rory Kleinveldt, Kyle Abbott, Lonwabo Tsotsobe.
Nasir Jamshed, Mohammad Hafeez, Younis Khan, Asad Shafiq, Misbah-ul-Haq, Shoaib Malik, Kamran Akmal, Shahid Afridi, Umar Gul, Saeed Ajmal, Junaid Khan.
Fast bowler Kyle Abbott will make his debut for the hosts as a replacement for the injured Morne Morkel, while the hosts have recalled fit-again seamer Junaid Khan. The other big news for Pakistan is that Shahid Afridi has returned to their line-up.
Visiting captain Misbah-ul-Haq has triumphed in the flip of the coin and Pakistan will bat first.
Hello and welcome to our over-by-over commentary of the first ODI - in the five-match series - between South Africa and Pakistan in Bloemfontein.