South Africa v Pakistan, 3rd ODI, Centurion November 30, 2013

De Villiers steers South Africa to victory in tricky chase


Pakistan 179 (Misbah 79*, Philander 3-26) v South Africa
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

South Africa chased successfully for the first time in eight matches but they had their bowlers to thank for setting up a moderate target. They restricted Pakistan to a score under 200 on a surface where extra bounce and turn made batting tricky.

Vernon Philander, Lonwabo Tsotsobe, Ryan McLaren and Wayne Parnell all got the ball to kick up from back of a length and tested Pakistan's line-up with tight lines. Contrastingly, Pakistan's attack, sans Junaid Khan, only really troubled South Africa with their spinners, whose mid-innings strangehold threatened to send the hosts into freefall. AB de Villiers batted with the patience required to steer his team and save them from being whitewashed in a three-ODI series for the first time in more than 20 years. The loss would have left Pakistan wondering what could have been had they had Shahid Afridi, who was rested, as a bowling option in this game.

Pakistan made four changes in total to their XI and despite the new-look outfit, Misbah-ul-Haq promised not to take a relaxed approach to the final fixture.He was the only one who stuck to that resolution, with a customary half-century amid the collapse. The memo was missed by the rest, starting with Ahmed Shehzad, who played lazily at the fourth delivery of the morning to give Hashim Amla a regulation catch at first slip. Asad Shafiq also failed to make use of his opportunity but Umar Amin showed better temperament.

In his first appearance in this series, he was asked to open and did the right thing by giving himself time to get his eye in before attacking. With Sohaib Maqsood in good touch, the pair looked capable of setting Pakistan up. They scored 41 runs in the 47 balls they were together before a well-judged catch by Amla at slip ended their stand and indicated the problems extra bounce would cause.

Ryan McLaren pitched back of a length and Amin got a thick edge as he fended at it to force Amla into a jump. McLaren continued to trouble Pakistan's batsmen with the lift he generated. His short ball also accounted for Masood, who played the pull too early and popped the ball up for McLaren to complete the a nifty catch in his follow-through.

When Umar Akmal too was the victim of a stunning catch - by his opposite number who dived one-handed to take it - Pakistan were teetering. They inched even closer to unravelling when Bilawal Bhatti and Anwar Ali were dismissed in the space of three balls to leave Pakistan at 97 for 7. It was a situation Misbah-ul-Haq has been in many a time and one he knows how to navigate expertly.

He found an ally in Abdur Rehman, who was willing to rotate strike and spend time at the crease. The pair negotiated the short ball barrage well but also flirted with danger. Misbah was on 43 when he almost threw it away, cutting off Wayne Parnell. JP Duminy at backward point put down a simple chance. Rehman lofted McLaren to third man but the substitute fielder spilled it. The pair posted 51 before Rehman holed out to deep square leg and Misbah was left to finish off.

Back to back sixes off Imran Tahir, whom Misbah charged to smack straight down the ground, took him three-quarters of the way to a century, but as been the case throughout his career, he was left stranded with Pakistan on a below-par score.

South Africa's openers set about their task briskly. Hashim Amla and Quinton de Kock blitzed their way 34 off the first five overs against a Pakistan opening pair that offered width and strayed on the pads. Had they tempered their enthusiasm with some caution, they could have batted through but de Kock was the first to go when he top-edged a pull off Bilawal Bhatti.

As soon as debutant Henry Davids arrived, so did the spin threat and it immediately slowed South Africa down. Davids battled to read Ajmal's line and after facing seven balls from him was put out of his memory when he was stumped.

Amla continued fluently and it was only when he was run-out that South Africa's nerves would have tightened. JP Duminy and AB de Villiers were tied down by Pakistan's spinners, which resulted in even Maqsood being given a bowl. Duminy was eventually tempted by Rehman's flight. He went forward to try and play on the leg-side and the ball hit bat, pad and then settled into Akmal's glove.

David Miller provided the aggression to get South Africa out of what was becoming a pressure situation. By the time he flashed off Tanvir, the match was all but won and with the required run-rate under control, de Villiers and McLaren could knock it around until they reached the target. McLaren did not last until the end but de Villiers was unbeaten while Wayne Parnell smoked the winning runs with more than 11 overs to spare.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • ICKY on December 1, 2013, 16:48 GMT

    @ mera-bharat: Pak beat the - out of Bharat in the last series they played in their own backyard. why are some people living in fantasy. Bharat is a good batting power house in their own backyard. Everybody remembers their whitewash by England recently and Pak - India series they played last year. India will see a different real world on foreign land.

  • imranmujtaba on December 1, 2013, 15:35 GMT

    This Forum has Become Pak vs india instead of SA vs Pak discussion. There is no comparison between Dhoni or Misbah Simply becuase: Dhoni lead from the front where Misbah is not visible in the team... Dhoni Won so many game for India, I dont remember any game won by Misbah For Pak but i remember many Pak lost becuase of Misbah.... Dhoni is Financial strong and backed up by strong sponsors where No one is interesting sponsoring Misbah except political people who want their relative to play for Pak..... Lastly Indian is only good in India as always when there was no rohit, Kholi or dhawan and they are the toughest team to beat in Indian ground but they hardly win series outside india, (check last 2 series outside india) where has got decent record home and away due to bowlers..... each gifted by different qualities and it will good to see them playing against each other.....

  • mzm149 on December 1, 2013, 15:06 GMT

    @laho111: I don't need to give you justifications. I was telling you facts. Don't bring ODIs and t20s in same set of stats. He made 38 in ODIs five innings ago. Be prepared to see your co called super star in Karachi Dolphins only.

  • Yuosufahmed on December 1, 2013, 14:28 GMT

    @ SLslider: This should be a very tough series as it is played in good UAE wickets which are better than your flat Ind pitches. The result is unpredictable. I rate Pak slightly ahead of SL.

  • likeintcricket on December 1, 2013, 13:02 GMT

    As the commentators said Pak and SA matched in nearly every department and shared the series in all format. Test are drawn, ODIs are shared 1-1 and T20s 1-1 ( One T20 was in Completely Pak favor when ended by rain, They just miscalculated it otherwise they easily won it onD/L). Last ODI was just an exercise. For Indian Fans it's very simple, If Indians win any series they are better than Pak. SA are a very talented side in all department and all format but their bowling is exceptional. Indians came here with great batting sides before but always failed. They don't have Tendulakar, Dravid, Sehwag, Laxman and CO this time so it's not easy for them. SA batting is very talented and they bat long and not easy for Indian bowlers to get 10 SA wickets.

  • laho111 on December 1, 2013, 11:23 GMT

    @mzm149. great justification... plz also justify excellent performances of nasir, umer amin and hafeez. I think nasir in 4 matches of SA tour made 2, 24, 19, 18, in UAE 19, 1, 0, 38, 32, 37 excellent....... In last 15 matches, he didnt cross 38 score. it is justifying you greatly....

  • MichaelBurton on December 1, 2013, 9:30 GMT

    Pak was lucky to win the first 2 matches. Mighty SAs showed their colours at the end. With this weak batting line up Pak will never beat a great team like Ind. Hopefully they will performe better in their next series against weak Lankans.

  • android_user on December 1, 2013, 7:16 GMT

    @diehardINDIANcricketfan i think ur quality of the Indian batsman is better than our pakistani bowlers.

  • GRVJPR on December 1, 2013, 7:09 GMT

    What so special about this win. South Africa wins one match at home. And that doesn't count.

  • sidh78 on December 1, 2013, 6:40 GMT

    some ind team hetter says that nothing big when india win at home but when sa aust wins at home they called them great,what a double standarad.btw india win outside also plz check the records.i think india won 13 matches out of 15 in outside india(in eng,wi).some people says ind pitches are flat & easy for batting but in actual ind pitches are slow & turning not so easy for batting. why not apposite team's batsman make more runs againat so called weak bowlling of india and win matches if indian pitches are easy for batting.plz check the average of great ponting in india which is very low below 30. so indian pitches are easy for batting then why his average low in india.(avg. of sachin,dravid laxman are above 50 in australia eng )

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