About the Match
Pakistan’s emphatic win over the hosts in the second match gave them their first ever ODI series win against South Africa. Taking the lead 2-0, the final match of this series remains only as a formality for the visitors who will take the title home no matter what the outcome on Saturday. It was a thrilling finish to an exciting match that saw many ups and downs for both the teams; finally Pakistan defeated the hosts by a very narrow margin of 1 run with the Pakistani bowling proving to be too much for South Africa to handle. South Africa will be disappointed with its performance and will look forward for some redemption by winning the upcoming final match of the series; on the other hand the visitors will be eager to make a clean sweep and wrap up the series with another win here.
With the target being 263 runs from 45 overs, the South African chase looked confident as Amla and AB de Viliers put up a brilliant 4th wicket stand of 110 runs that brought down the asking run-rate for the team. Amla put up a steady knock of 98 runs whereas de Viliers brilliantly scored 74 runs from just 45 deliveries. Earlier on, Quinton de Kock also played beautifully along with Amla to score 47 runs. Kallis couldn’t repeat his heroics and though Duminy tried his best to support Amla from the other end, both the batsmen were dismissed in quick succession that led to the start of their downfall and they lost by 1 run. Earlier on, Dale Steyn bowled magnificently to put up the best performance of his career by claiming 6 wickets giving away only 39 runs. He destroyed the Pakistani top order and came back with a demolishing second spell; however, there was not much support from other bowlers who struggled to restrict the run flow.
The team exhibited some fine performances to come up with a thrilling series win that has boosted their morale to great heights. Though the top order collapsed, Ahmed Shehzad and Sohaib Maqsood built the foundation for a good total in the first innings. Putting up a commendable 124-run partnership, the duo’s determination instilled confidence in the batsmen down the order. Akmal scored 42 runs from 30 deliveries and the lower order did well to take the total to a competitive 262 runs. The bowlers kept the pressure on the opponents; Saeed Ajmal and Shahid Afridi provided early breaks but it was Junaid Khan’s superb figure of 3-42 that consisted of some brilliant yorkers in the final over that won them the match by 1 run. The players worked as a tight unit to win the series and will look ahead to a win in the final match too.
Pakistan has already won the series 2-0 and will try to wrap up without a defeat; on the other hand the hosts are eager to come up with a good performance and win this final match to have something to cheer about. Though the contest could go either way, the hosts are looking confident to avenge their defeat here.
South Africa, 1.44 @ William Hill