Pakistan complete away series win in South Africa
Pakistan have won an away ODI series against South Africa for the second time by beating the hosts by 28 runs at SuperSport Park, Centurion to take series 2-1.
Pakistan’s previous series win was in the 2013/14 season. Babar Azam’s men have repeated the feat in 2021. The win also hands Pakistan ten more World Cup Super League points, 40 in total.
South Africa had to field a depleted XI, with five players leaving for IPL and in-form Rassie van der Dussen missing out with an injury. Tabraiz Shamsi was dropped which made the Proteas make seven changes.
Pakistan were asked to bat first for the first time on this tour. Openers Imam-ul-Haq and Fakhar Zaman accepted the invitation gleefully as the pair put on 112 runs at a healthy rate.
Fakhar carried his last match’s form into this game, registering a consecutive hundred. Today’s innings was not as long as the 193 one but a 104-ball 101 set the tone for big total. His opening partner Imam made 57 off 76 at the top.
While Pakistan were looking to give a good shot at 350, Keshav Maharaj broke the 96-run stand between Fakhar and the captain. He then dismissed Mohammad Rizwan to slow down the momentum.
Babar had to wait until Hassan Ali joined him to push the total to 320/7. 43 runs came off the last two overs. Hassan smacked JJ Smuts for four sixes in the 49th over on course to his 11-ball 32* runs cameo.
Meanwhile, Babar held out to point on the final ball, missing out on a second hundred in the series. He struck three sixes and seven fours in his 94 runs from 82 balls.
Maharaj was the pick of the bowlers with 3 for 45. Aiden Markram had a rare 10-over spell where he took 2 for 48.
In reply, South Africa were five down for 140 despite Markram and Janneman Malan’s quick 54-run stand. Malan made his presence felt with 70 runs off 81 balls.
Kyle Verreynne, the other rookie, kept his side in the chase as he shared a 108-run sixth-wicket partnership with Andile Phehlukwayo. Verreynne made his second ODI fifty – 62 off 53 with three sixes and fours each.
Both the players fell in consecutive overs which gave the visitors complete control. Phehlukwayo contributed with 54 runs.
Left-arm spinner Mohammad Nawaz claimed 3 wickets for 34. Shaheen Shah Afridi, who also took three, ended the innings on 292 bowling Daryn Dupavillon in the last over.
Pakistan 320/7 in 50 overs (Fakhar 101, Babar 94, Imam 57; Maharaj 3/45, Markram 2/48)
South Africa 292/10 in 49.3 overs (Malan 70, Verreynne 62; Nawaz 3/34, Shaheen 3/58)
Pakistan won by 28 runs
Player of the Match: Babar Azam
Player of the Series: Fakhar Zaman