Home » Cricket, Sports » South Africa beat Pakistan by 6 wickets in Final ODI

AB-de-VilliersAB de Villiers racked up his third half-century of the series, in which he also scored a hundred, to guide South Africa to victory in their chase in Benoni with six overs to spare, sealing a 3-2 win for the hosts. De Villiers put in his best all-round performance in the decider, as he manned his chargers well and anchored the chase, albeit a modest one.

South Africa closed out the series largely due to Pakistan’s inability to dothe same, rather than being dominant. Apart from de Villiers’ knock, the game changed in the space of four balls in the Pakistan innings when Shoaib Malik and Shahid Afridi both succumbed softly in the 35th over bowled by Ryan McLaren and abandoned the captain and lower order to nothing more than hope.

Malik and Afridi were guilty of poor shot-selection, they undid the work done by the batsmen before and left the lower order too much to do. They also did little justice to Pakistan’s initial recovery after they found themselves in early trouble at 31 for 2 inside the first 10 overs.

Dale Steyn delivered a classic delivery to remove Mohammad Hafeez for the sixth time on this tour and take his 100th ODI wicket. Hafeez was forced to play at one that angled into him and then straightened and was caught at second slip. Imran Farhat followed shortly afterwards. After being worked over by Morne Morkel’s awkward bounce, he edged a standard Lonwabo Tsotsobe delivery through to de Villiers.

An under-pressure Younis Khan had Kamran Akmal to thank for buying him some time and the pair built the best stand of the innings. Kamran peppered the area through point frequently to keep the score moving. Younis eventually settled and also brought up his 7000 ODI runs. The pair put Pakistan in a good position, but could not build on it.

Having slog-swept Robin Peterson for six successfully and with his half-century looming, Kamran tried it again but top-edged to hand a catch to McLaren. Two overs later, Younis mowed part-timer Farhaan Behardien to midwicket where Hashim Amla timed his jump to end what has been a lean series for Younis.

Shoaib Malik and Misbah combined to a produce a similar recovery in which they targeted Peterson and tried to be more conservative against the seamers. They stand grew to 47 when Malik did the inexplicable. He chipped a McLaren offcutter to midwicket to give Behardien catching practice. What Afridi did was even worse. He saw off two balls before picking the right one to pull but he singled out the fielder at deep square leg as well. With that, Pakistan’s aims of reaching a competitive target ended.

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