| Salim Elahi acknowledges cheers after his century in Port Elizabeth Wednesday
Port Elizabeth: World Cup hosts South Africa slumped to their heaviest defeat in one-day Internationals Wednesday when they lost by 182 runs to Pakistan.
The defeat comes less than two months before their opening match of next year’s World Cup.
A partnership of 257 between Salim Elahi and Abdul Razzaq helped the tourists to 335 for six before Shaun Pollock’s team were dismissed for 153 in reply.
It was the highest total conceded by South Africa in a one-day match and their previous biggest loss was a 107-run defeat at the hands of the West Indies in Kingston in April 1992.
Opener Elahi completed his fourth one-day century from 94 balls, an innings characterised by a series of magnificent cover drives that earned him a total of 19 boundaries and the Man of the Match award.
By the time he slapped a tired full toss to extra cover in the 45th over his innings of 135 from just 129 balls had virtually taken the game away from South Africa.
Razzaq (112) judged his own innings to perfection, content to play the junior role when Elahi was in control but equally comfortable to step the pace up when his partner tired.
His maiden century duly arrived from only 111 deliveries with 11 boundaries and two enormous sixes, both straight driven into the stands against spinner Nicky Boje and medium pacer Lance Klusener.
The stand fell just short of the Pakistan second-wicket record of 263 set by Aamir Sohail and Inzamam-ul-Haq against New Zealand in Sharjah in the 1993-94 season, but was well short of the all-time record of 331 set by India’s Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar.
South Africa’s six-man attack all suffered in equal measure although Allan Donald finished with a crumb of comfort by collecting two wickets in the final over of the innings.
Skipper Waqar Younis ended a brisk opening stand of 57 when the home side began their reply when Herschelle Gibbs’ middle stump cartwheeled after a breezy 40 from 30 balls.
Waqar bowled Gibbs’ fellow opener Graeme Smith and trapped Neil McKenzie lbw in a an opening spell of seven overs that earned him three for 45 while Mohammad Sami proved equally effective in a five-over burst worth three for 26.
Shahid Afridi concluded the innings with three more wickets.