About the Match
South Africa took the lead 2-1 in the 5-match ODI series by defeating Pakistan by 68 runs in the 3rd ODI on Wednesday. The two teams now face each other on Nov 8 for the 4th match, which is a crucial one that will decide Pakistan’s fate here. South Africa will look forward to making a clean sweep by winning this match whereas Pakistan will try to keep their hopes alive by leveling with South Africa. The team that keeps a cool head above its shoulders will be at an advantage on Friday.
South Africa put up a much better performance with the bat; the 77-run partnership between Quinton de Kock and Faf du Plessis became the solid foundation on which the team put up a total of 259 runs. Plessis’ 55 off 60 balls infused confidence into the South African batting line-up and it was followed by a brilliant 64 runs by Duminy; who along with AB de Villiers added another 70 runs to the board and went on to build a strong partnership with Miller too, the duo putting up 61 runs for the 5th wicket. The batsmen upped their game and the bowlers delivered as expected. Morkel and Steyn took early wickets and along with Tsotsobe and Imran Tahir, didn’t allow the Pakistani top order to settle. Imran’s superb figure of 4-53 with 2 wickets each from Morkel and McLaren made it difficult for the opponents to reach the target. Steyn took the crucial wicket of Shehzad and Tsotsobe struck a few overs later to claim the wicket of Umar Amin. It was a collective effort by South Africa and the team will look to repeat their winning performance here.
Though Mohammaded Irfan scalped the wicket of Hashim Amla in the 5th over of the first innings and took 2 more wickets later on, the other bowlers fell short to make any serious damage to the strong South African partnerships. Shahid Afridi and Saeed Ajmal got 2 wickets each and were economical too but it didn’t stop the run flow. With a target of 260 in front of them, Pakistan got off to a good start with a 50-run partnership by Mohammad Hafeez and Ahmed Shehzad in just 47 balls; but the middle order couldn’t stand the pressure. The batting line-up collapse started with the wicket of Umar Amin and continued until Tanvir and Riaz batted superbly and added 61 runs for the 8th wicket. However, the partnership came too late for Pakistan and they lost the match by 68 runs. The batsmen failed again; they will have to sharpen their skills and learn to perform under pressure to emerge victorious in the crucial 4th ODI.
South Africa has found the right mix of good performances from all departments of the game whereas Pakistan is still struggling with the gaps in its batting line-up. The bowlers from both sides have excelled and will be provide the required impetus to their respective teams. Though Pakistan has the resources to make a comeback into the series; South Africa is backed up by a confident combination of bowlers and batsmen to win the match and series here.
South Africa, 1.73 @ William Hill