South Africa outplayed Pakistan in all departments in the final ODI of the series against Pakistan to win the game by seven wickets and seal the series by 3-2.
Proteas’ opening batsman, Quinton de Kock set the tone with his aggressive batting for South Africa early in the inning as they came out to chase a moderate total of 241 runs.
Shaheen Shah Afridi provided Pakistan with an early breakthrough in the shape of Hashim Amla, but Reeza Hendricks supported De Kock.
The wicketkeeper-batsman and Hendricks had a handy 61-run partnership, before the latter fall after scoring 34 runs off 33 deliveries.
However, De Kock, who got a life after getting out on a no-ball off Usman Shinwari, kept his aggressive approach going and took the game away from Pakistan with his blistering 83 runs off 53 deliveries.
The skipper Faf du Plessis and the newcomer Rassie van der Dussen found it hard to score freely initially, but they had enough time to set their eyes in and then get runs freely.
Du Plessis and Van der Dussen finished off the game in 40 overs in style with both raising their half-centuries, remaining not-out on exactly 50 runs on 72 and 61 runs respectively.
Pakistan’s successful bowlers throughout the series, Shadab Khan and Shaheen Shah Afridi looked toothless in the series decider taking none and 1 wicket respectively. Moreover, Khan conceded 78 runs in his quota of 10 overs.
Earlier, the hosts won the toss and elected to bowl first. Pakistan lost their man-in-form, Imam Ul Haq early in the inning, who managed to score just 8 runs off 10 deliveries.
However, Fakhar Zaman and Babar Azam looked decent at the crease during their 56-run stand. Azam seemed in complete control but lost his wicket in a strange manner, where he shuffled to off stump and missed a straight delivery that hit stumps behind his legs after scoring 24 (25).
Mohammad Hafeez joined Zaman in the middle, he played some impressive shots, but it was once again the short-ball problem that dented Pakistan. Hafeez and Zaman were removed by Andile Phehlukwayo after scoring 17 (28) and 70 (73) on short deliveries.
As Pakistan lost their four wickets for 128, the stand-in skipper for Pakistan, Shoaib Malik tried to hang in there in the middle and take the inning till the end.
However, he did not get much support from the other end as Mohammad Rizwan could not score freely and managed only 10 at a strike-rate of 33.33.
The young bowling all-rounder, Shadab Khan looked to show some resilience and score runs but failed to do so. With Khan’s slow batting, the pressure mounted, which resulted in a mix-up between the two batsmen and cost Malik’s wicket, who scored 31 (44).
It was Imad Wasim who kept fighting for Pakistan in the middle alone and played a courageous inning of 47 runs off 31 deliveries, ending the inning with a six on the last delivery.
Andile Phehlukwayo and Dwaine Pretorius took two wickets each in the inning, while Dale Steyn, Kagiso Rabada and Wiaan Mulder took one wicket apiece.