CENTURION – Pakistan beat South Africa by 28 runs in the final match to win the Pak-SA ODI series 2-1. Captain Babar Azam was awarded the man of the match award for his century knock that enabled Pakistan to set a 321-run target for the hosts.
In the second inning, South Africa had a steady start to the run-chase but stumbled in the middle part of the innings, before Kyle Verreynne and Andile Phelukwayo put up a century stand to get their team back on track. Opener Janneman Malan, Kyle Verreynne and Andile Phelukwayo all hit half centuries for the home side while Muhammad Nawaz and Shaheen Afridi picked up three wickets each.
For Pakistan, Fakhar Zaman and Babar Azam scored the major chunk of runs with the left-handed opener smashing 101 runs and the captain seeing off the innings with 94 runs under his belt. Fakhar Zaman was also awarded the Man of the Series award for his outstanding performance in the last two matches.
Keshav Maharaj picked up three wickets for the home side and Aiden Markram bested two Pakistani batsmen in his 10-over quota.
Temba Bavuma won the toss and put Pakistan into bat at the SuperSport Park, Centurion. Bavuma said at the toss, “We looked at overhead conditions and we think in the morning their might be a bit of swing to exploit. Defending here on the Highveld is a challenge.”
Pakistan skipper Babar Azam said, “The wicket is very good. We are aiming for 300.We have left the previous match behind. Today’s match is very important. We have four changes. A lot of experience players come in.”
Legspinner Usman Qadir, son of the late Abdul Qadir, made his ODI debut for Pakistan while Sarfraz Ahmed, Mohammad Nawaz and Hasan Ali was also been included in the playing XI.
The three-match series was level 1-1 as the Green Shirts had won the first game by three wickets while the Proteas emerged victorious in the thrilling second encounter by seventeen runs.
Pakistan: Imam-ul-Haq, Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam (capt), Mohammad Rizwan, Sarfraz Ahmed, Mohammad Nawaz, Faheem Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Usman Qadir, Haris Rauf
South Africa: Janneman Malan, Aiden Markram, Jon-Jon Smuts, Temba Bavuma (capt), Kyle Verreynne, Heinrich Klaasen(wk), Andile Phehlukwayo, Keshav Maharaj, Beuran Hendricks, Daryn Dupavillon, Beuran Hendricks, Lutho Sipamla