The Proteas of South Africa faced Pakistan in the first of five One Day Internationals at Chevrolet Park in Bloemfontein this past Sunday. It was the first ODI played in Bloemfontein since Sri Lanka played the Proteas in January 2012. Despite earlier attendance concerns, the match drew a very respectable crowd of just under 13 000 spectators. Earlier in the week, Proteas coach Gary Kirsten, as well as Bloemfontein local Ryan McLaren emphasized the importance of a good start in the Momentum One Day International Series against the team from the sub-continent.
Following a long stint of predominate test cricket, the Proteas are relishing the opportunity to play some limited overs cricket. South Africa will be focusing their attention on reclaiming the number one ranking on the ICC ODI standings ahead of the Champions trophy to be played in England later this year. Sunday the Proteas kicked-off the ODI series in emphatic style by convincingly beating Pakistan by 125 runs. The South Africans lost the toss and were sent in to bat. Graeme Smith and Hashim Amla got the Proteas off to a good start before Smith lost his wicket with the score on 72. Colin Ingram came into bat and notched up 105 runs not out to help South Africa breeze to 315/4 after 50 overs.
The Pakistani batsman themselves got off to a good start by racing to 42 runs in the first 7 overs before the South African bowling attack struck via big Rory Kleinveldt. Kleinveldt was the pick of the South African bowlers picking up 4 scalps for just 22 runs, while local bowler Ryan McLaren took 3/19. Proteas captain, AB de Villiers was elated by their good showing in Bloemfontein and maintained it was a great start to the series ahead of their next match at SuperSport Park in Centurion on Friday 15 March.