About the Match
South Africa clinched the series 3-1 by defeating Pakistan by 28 runs in the 4th ODI yesterday; they now face each other in the fifth and the last one-day match of the series on Monday. The South Africans were the better team yesterday and successfully defended the competitive total of 266 runs they put up for Pakistan, who struggled to keep up with the mounting pressure and fell short of their target. Though the upcoming match remains only as a formality now, Pakistan will like to finish with a win; however the Proteas who have exhibited their superiority with bat and ball, will be difficult to beat.
Quinton de Kock scripted his first international hundred to post a good total for his team; in the company of Hashim Amla and later with AB de Villiers, the young opener scored 112 runs off 135 balls. The middle order batsmen stood their ground and kept the scoreboard ticking and later on the partnership of Duminy and McLaren added 52 runs more on board. The batsmen put up a good performance as they posted a good total of 266 runs. The bowlers stepped up once again and broke important Pakistani partnerships with help from some excellent fielding. Dale Steyn’s superb figures of 5-25 demolished the opponent’s batting line-up with able support from Imran Tahir, Tsotsobe and McLaren who got a wicket each at regular intervals; the tight bowling unit made it difficult for Pakistan to reach the target and won it for their team. South Africa has made tremendous progress in terms of performance and confidence in this series and by sealing this ODI series, have boosted their morale to a new high.
The batsmen looked confident for the chase and though the openers started out slowly, they showed a lot of promise. Ahmed Shehzad and Hafeez put up a strong partnership of 74 runs before Shehzad was run-out. Thereafter, Maqsood and Misbah resisted the South African bowlers and played smartly to add another 88 runs on board. The debutant, Maqsood scored 56 runs off 54 balls whereas the Captain put up a good 65 runs; the partnership looked good however Maqsood fell for a superb spell by Steyn. After Misbah’s dismissal, the batting collapse started and other than Umar Akmal who put up 22 runs, the others put up no fight against the South Africans. Earlier on, bowlers like Junaid Khan, Hafeez and Mohammad Irfan got wickets but were unable to make a dent on the strong partnerships of the opponents. After the ODI series loss, the Pakistani contingent will look for some respite by winning this match and start upcoming T20 series on a happier note.
South Africa has already won the series but will not give this match away easily; Pakistan on the other hand is looking forward to win here and if the batsmen can give a solid performance they might pull it off; however, South Africa which has shown lot of improvement in all departments of the game, is more likely to win this one too.
South Africa, 1.67 @ William Hill
Pakistan top-order has struggled in the series and thus they’ve not gotten off to solid start in any of the matches. On the other hand, the return of Amla and inclusion of Quinton de Kock has made their opening look much stronger on paper. With runs in the previous game, de Kock and Amla look all set to tackle Pakistan bowlers. I think the Proteas’ openers will put on more runs than Pakistan’s.
Highest Opening Partnership:
South Africa, 1.80 @ William Hill