Fourth One-Day International

South Africa v Pakistan

At Paarl, December 16, 2002. South Africa won by nine wickets. Toss: Pakistan.

Kirsten won the match, and thus the series, with a century that was well timed in more ways than one. Left out of South Africa's last 15 one-day internationals, he seemed certain to miss the World Cup. But the experimental opening partnership of Smith and Gibbs was seen as flimsy (despite Smith averaging nearly 40 in Kirsten's absence) and a commanding 102 from 118 balls gave the prevaricating selectors no choice but to include Kirsten. He was fortunate to make it that far: on two, he survived a raucous lbw appeal from Waqar Younis, and on 30 he was badly dropped at cover. Pakistan's innings was a study in their inability to adapt to conditions. A slow pitch and outfield are part and parcel of this picturesque ground but, apart from Yousuf Youhana, no batsman looked comfortable.

Man of the Match: G. Kirsten. Attendance: 4,808.

© John Wisden & Co