Pakistan’s batting got off the mark but this time they failed to convince with the bowl as they were able to take only a wicket in a rain-hit third ODI which they lost by 13 runs (D/L) at SuperSports Park on Friday.
Having got good options in bowling, Pakistan failed to utilize opportunities a couple of time after setting a composing target of 318 runs on the scoreboard. Only Hasan Ali took a wicket of Hashim Amla who made 25 runs. The second wicket went in the account of Shadab Khan just because of his epic throw which went straight to hit the stumps to get rid of Quinton De Kock who was in good knick scoring 33 off 36 balls.
Batting chart of Pakistan had some good contributions as after failing to get off the mark with their openers they rebuilt inning with Imam-ul-Haq and Babar Azam who put 132 runs together on the scoreboard.
Imam went onto make his fifth ODI century and also became the second fastest batsman to reach 1000 runs in ODI (19 innings) behind his compatriot Fakhar Zaman who reached the milestone in 18 innings.
Babar once again proved his mettle scoring a fine knock of 69 runs to keep supporting his team’s total. His knock included seven hits to the fence and a six. Later, in the middle order, Mohammad Hafeez with scoring 52 runs kept Pakistan’s score ticking.
Some of the people still think that if there had been no rain, Pakistan would have defended the total with having some top quality bowlers in the side.
On the other hands, full marks to Reeza Hendricks and Faf Du Plessis who raced their inning keeping in mind the weather condition and in the end it helped them a lot as they went 13 runs ahead of Pakitan after rain washed out the last part of the match.
Pakistan now needs to plan something strong as a single flaw will take the series away from them. The players have to focus on their strengths and try to execute the plan well.
Pakistan should bring change to their opening pair by demoting Fakhar Zaman down the order or giving him rest and bringing in Shan Massod who outplayed all odds in recently concluded Test series against the same opponents.
The things will be quite difficult for Pakistan in the fourth ODI as South Africa is strongly eying a series-clinching match. Interesting would be Pakistan’s approach to save the series.