AB de Villiers has praised his team for showing a "killer instinct" to close out the series against Pakistan, especially after their poor one-day showing in Sri Lanka. He said he was also pleased that Quinton de Kock was showing his batting potential "so early" in his career.
"Happy and proud of the boys with this series win away from home, especially after a really bad series in Sri Lanka," de Villiers said after the match in Abu Dhabi on Friday. "I wasn't thinking of [the fifth and final match in] Sharjah, I was thinking of one ball at a time, not to think too far ahead. Having won here two days ago, we had the confidence. If the decider had gone to Sharjah it would have been tight, but its good we wrapped things up here."
South Africa posted 266 for 5, and then bowled Pakistan out for 238 in a see-sawing chase. That South Africa got to 266 was mainly down to 20-year-old de Kock's maiden ODI century. In the chase, Pakistan needed 45 off 36 with five wickets in hand. Then Dale Steyn struck with the big wicket of Misbah-ul-Haq in a triple-wicket over, and eventually went on to claim a career-best 5 for 25, as Pakistan slid from 228 for 5 to 238 all out.
De Kock, like the rest of the team, did well to overcome the Sri Lanka series setback, de Villiers said. "Quinton de Kock is a serious talent for the future in South Africa. I was expecting him to come through in two or three years' time but to do it so, so early, especially after a tough tour to Sri Lanka where he had some mental and technical issues, is great." De Kock could not go past 27 in Sri Lanka in July, and like most of his team-mates, struggled in the spinner-friendly conditions.
Steyn, de Villiers said, showed good spirit. "It's nice to have Steyn in the team, I play around him and he has that killer instinct.
"In fact, everyone had it in this game. I really enjoyed captaining tonight, it was a hard game, I knew it wasn't going to be easy and Pakistan would come at us hard which they did. We hit back with our patience and the communication was pretty good. Hashim [Amla] was always at my ear and we took out catches and got some run-outs and things worked out. It's a very proud moment for me to win a series away from home and would love to make it 4-1."