Men-in-Green secure 28-run win in final fixture
An all-round performance helped Pakistan secure a memorable ODI series triumph against South Africa.
While chasing a mammoth target of 321 to win the third ODI and subsequently the series at Centurion on Wednesday, the home team had a decent beginning but kept losing wickets at regular intervals.
Proteas were eventually bowled out for 292 in the final over and lost the deciding fixture by 28 runs.
For the home team, opener Janneman Malan was the star of the show as he scored 70 off 81 balls with the help of nine fours.
He was well-supported by young middle-order batsman Kyle Verreynne and all-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo, as they scored 62 off 53 and 54 off 61 balls respectively.
For the Men-in-Green, left-arm spinner Mohammad Nawaz, who was included in place of Danish Aziz, finished the innings as the most successful bowler by registering figures of three for 34 in seven overs.
Pacers Haris Rauf, Shaheen Shah Afridi also had a really good day with the ball in hand as they claimed two and three wickets respectively.
Earlier, Fakhar Zaman’s outstanding century and half-centuries from captain Babar Azam and opener Imam-ul-Haq helped Pakistan set the home team a target of 321 to win the third ODI.
The home team’s captain Temba Bavuma won the toss and elected to bowl first in a match where Proteas made seven changes in the playing XI whereas the visitors made four.
His decision early on proved wrong in the first 35 overs of the innings where the Men-in-Green managed to post more than 200 runs at the loss of just one wicket.
An untimely departure of Zaman changed the complexion of the match all together as Pakistan lost five wickets for just 51 runs and at one stage looked like they were only going to score in the region of 280-290.
However, late blitz from pacer Hasan Ali (32 off 11 which included four sixes) helped the team in posting a competitive total of 320 for the loss of seven wickets in their allotted 50 overs.
Zaman continued his impressive run from the previous match and scored another hundred as he finished the innings with the top score of 101 off 104 balls with the help of nine fours and three sixes.
Captain Babar scored 94 off 82 balls with the help of seven fours and three sixes whereas opener Imam scored 57 off 73 balls with the help of three fours.
For South Africa, left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj was the pick of the bowlers he claimed figures of three for 45 in his quota of 10 overs.