The cricket world has been giggling away at the scenes of Pakistan and South Africa players wearing almost identical kits during the first one-day international in Centurion Saturday morning.
The two teams lined up with the same dark green pants and lighter-shaded green shirts in an oversight that neither team appeared to care about.
Pakistan even proudly showed off its newly-launched, re-designed kit last month, announcing the team’s new T20 and ODI kits for the Tour of South Africa.
Pakistan pulled off a thrilling, last-ball victory in the series-opener, but it was overshadowed by the hilarious jersey clash.
Cricket fans have repeatedly been subjected to clashing strips with Bangladesh, Pakistan, South Africa and even Australia all sporting dark green kits in recent years — but the clash in South Africa is taking the mickey.
It left fans calling for teams to be forced to wear “away team” uniforms if there is a clash.
The cries have fallen on deaf ears.
It made for some hilarious photos.
The on-field action certainly did its best to draw attention away from the kit clash with a Babar Azam century setting up a three-wicket win for Pakistan at the death.
The Pakistan captain hit 103 off 104 balls and shared a second-wicket partnership of 177 with Imam-ul-Haq, who made 70.
But Babar’s dismissal started a collapse in which fast bowler Anrich Nortje took four wickets in four overs.
From 186 for one, with more than 18 overs in hand to reach a target of 274, Pakistan slumped to 203 for five before Mohammad Rizwan and Shadab Khan steadied the innings again in a sixth-wicket stand of 53.
But both were dismissed before Faheem Ashraf hit the winning run off Andile Phehlukwayo off the last ball.
“There was a little bit of pressure but we will learn from that,” Babar said through an interpreter at the after-match presentation.
Babar, who was named man of the match, praised his bowlers, who came within three runs of achieving his objective of restricting South Africa to a total of around 270 after he won the toss and sent them in.
“I told them to bowl hard lengths and there was some swing as well,” he said. “They took wickets in the power play and that helped us.”
Rassie van der Dussen had to perform a rescue act for South Africa after the hosts struggled to 55 for four inside 15 overs.
He hit 123 not out, his maiden international century, to enable South Africa to score 273 for six.
The win gave Pakistan an important advantage in the three-match series, with South Africa set to lose five key players to the Indian Premier League after Sunday’s second match in Johannesburg.
— with AFP