Pakistan clinched the three-match ODI series against South Africa after an outstanding display in the third ODI. Pakistan became the first Asian side to win two series against the Proteas in South Africa and became only the second side in international cricket to win multiple series in the country. Australia is the only other side to win multiple series in the rainbow nation, having won three.
An opening stand of 112 between Fakhar Zaman and Imam-ul-Haq set the tone for Pakistan, with Imam scoring a half-century and Fakhar scoring his second successive century in the series.
Captain Babar Azam carried the momentum of the innings, scoring a brisk 94, before falling on the last ball of the innings. Babar was ably supported by Hasan Ali, who smashed four sixes in the penultimate over to help Pakistan cross the 300 marks. Pakistan scored 43 runs in the final two overs to set South Africa a target of 321.
Pakistan’s bowling attack rattled the South African batting line-up despite solid opening and middle-order partnerships in between. Mohammad Nawaz and Shaheen Afridi picked up three wickets each, while Haris Rauf picked up two scalps to help Pakistan to a 28 run victory.
This was Pakistan’s second ODI series win in South Africa. The first came in 2013 when Pakistan, led by Misbah-ul-Haq, won the series 2-1. The veteran off-spinner, Saeed Ajmal, was named as man of the series for his wonderful display with the ball.
The series win has lifted Pakistan to the 2nd spot in the ICC Cricket World Cup Super League, having won 4 of the 6 matches they have played. The Men in Green will shift their focus towards the highly anticipated T20I series, scheduled to begin from 10 April.