Pakistan overpowers South Africa to win ODI series

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Centurion: Fakhar Zaman scored back-to-back century whereas Babar Azam added 94 runs to lay down a solid foundation for Pakistan to beat South Africa in the third ODI and win the series.

Pakistani bowlers then held the command and restricted South Africa to 292-10 while they were chasing 321 runs to win the ODI series. This was Pakistan’s ODI series win in South Africa after seven years.

The 30-year-old Fakhar smashed 101 off 104 following his powerful 193 in the previous match. His inning was powered by nine fours and three sixes while his opening partner Imam-ul-Haq made 57 off 73 with the help of three fours as Pakistan posted 320-7.

Hasan Ali in his comeback match played a brisk knock of 11-ball 32 to hand Pakistan a competitive score after they collapsed towards the end.

South Africa’s skipper Temba Bavuma put the visitors in to bat first while announcing seven changes in the playing XI.

Pakistan started the proceedings confidently with the opening duo of Fakhar and Imam providing a 100-run stand. Imam scored his second fifty of the series and was soon dismissed by Maharaj in the 22nd over as he tried to up the scoring rate.

On the other hand, Fakhar accelerated after scoring fifty. He was joined by skipper Babar in the middle and the duo added 84 runs for the second wicket.

Fakhar reached his sixth ODI hundred but was removed by Maharaj as he went for a heave at the leg side. His 104-ball inning included nine fours and three sixes.

Green Shirts suffered a collapse and the run-rate dropped to under six as they lost four wickets from 36th to 46th over. They managed to add only 51 runs.

Former captain Sarfaraz Ahmed scored 13 with the help of two fours in his comeback match while Rizwan (2), Faheem Ashraf (1) and Mohammad Nawaz (4) struggled.

The projected score was looking below 300, however, Hasan Ali made the difference. He smacked unbeaten 11-ball 32 with the help of four sixes and a four while Babar was only six runs short of yet another hundred.

The 26-year-old Babar, who will become the No.1 ODI batsman after this match, hit seven fours and three sixes.

For South Africa, Keshav Maharaj took three for 45 while part-time Aiden Markram claimed figures of 2/48.

In reply, South Africa got the support of Janneman Malan who put up a strong case of the hosts despite wickets tumbling at the other end. The right-handed batsman scored 70 runs off 81 balls with the help of nine boundaries.

Kyle Verreynne (62) and Andile Phehlukwayo (54) joined hands to score 108 runs and at one stage they were on the song to chase the target. But, Haris Rauf created a much-needed breakthrough in the 44th over to bring back Pakistan in the game.

Hasan then joined Haris to provide another breakthrough to Pakistan, this time Phehlukwayo departed for 54, leaving South Africa suffering at 251-7.

Pakistani bowlers wrapped up the defense in style by picking up the last three wickets after regular intervals to hand a convincing victory to the visitors.

Shaheen Shah Afridi and Mohammad Nawaz took three wickets each while Haris bagged two wickets. Usman Qadir and Hasan took a wicket each.

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