Proteas draw first blood

Gibbs, de Villiers and Ntini star in 45-run success

By Graeme Mair   Last updated: 20th October 2007   Subscribe to RSS Feed

Proteas draw first blood

De Villiers: 103 from 95 balls

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Herschelle Gibbs and Abraham de Villiers both struck centuries to set up a 45-run victory for South Africa in the opening game of the one-day series against Pakistan.

Gibbs and de Villiers shared a third-wicket stand of 137 to help the Proteas pile up 294-5 after opting to bat first in Lahore.

And Makhaya Ntini then snared 4-69 as Pakistan were bowled out for 249 in 46.3 overs, despite a battling 53 from Mohammad Yousuf.

Buoyant

Gibbs shared an opening partnership of 85 with skipper Graeme Smith to set the tone for a dominant performance from the tourists, who came into the match in buoyant mood following their triumph in the preceding Test series.

Smith was run out for 34 in the 15th over and number three Jacques Kallis made just eight before giving Shahid Afridi a return catch to leave South Africa at 97-2.

But Gibbs and de Villiers took total command with a fine partnership that spanned 25.1 overs and allowed both to reach three figures.

Gibbs reached his ton from 125 balls, including 11 fours and a six, before becoming the second run out victim of the innings for 102.

There was no stopping de Villiers, who finished unbeaten on 103 from 95 balls to boost South Africa's final total to formidable proportions.

Ntini burst

Ntini claimed four wickets during his opening spell to leave Pakistan reeling at 55-4 in the 12th over of their reply, effectively ending the match as a contest.

Yousuf did contribute 53 from 75 balls to ensure total humiliation was avoided and Afridi enjoyed himself with a quick-fire 47 at number eight, but Pakistan were eventually all out for 249 in the 47th over.

The second instalment of the five-match series takes place in Lahore on Saturday.

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