3rd ODI: Pakistan win by 28 runs, clinch series 2-1

Web Desk

Pakistan defeated a weakened South Africa by 28 runs in the third and final ODI at Centurion on Wednesday, clinching the series 2-1.

Set a 321-run target by Pakistan, South Africa, who were without several of their IPL-bound regulars, folded for 292. 

After winning the toss, the hosts invited Pakistan to bat first. The tourists got a great start from their openers, with Fakhar Zaman continuing where he had left in the last match, scoring another century - this time a 101-run knock.

His partner Imam-ul-Haq also chipped in with a 57. 

At one point, Pakistan were 206-1, with Fakhar and Babar Azam at the crease, and targeting a score around 350. 

But a batting collapse saw them lose the next five wickets for just 51 runs and at one point even 300 seemed difficult. 

Hassan Ali (32 off 11) and Babar's blitzkrieg in the final few overs erased that dip as Pakistani finished 320-7.

In the run chase, South Africa were always behind, always playing catch up. They got a trio of half-centuries from Janneman Malan (70), Kyle Verreynne (62) and Andile Phehlukwayo (54) but never had the innings under control.

Mohammad Nawaz was the pick of the bowlers as this three-for featured all specialist batsmen, although Shaheen Afridi also got three and Haris Rauf (2) did reasonably well too and was inexpensive for a change.

The home side decided to play without its six key players; five including Quinton de Kock, David Miller, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje and Lungi Ngidi, who left the national squad to participate in the Indian Premier League while Rassie van der Dussen has been ruled out due to injury. 

Four major changes were made in Pakistan's squad as well with Sarfaraz Ahmed, Mohammad Nawaz, Usman Qadir and Hasan Ali coming in for Danish Aziz, Asif Ali, Shadab Khan and Mohammad Hasnain. 

Playing XIs: 

South Africa: Janneman Malan, Aiden Markram, Jon-Jon Smuts, Temba Bavuma (capt), Kyle Verreynne, Heinrich Klaasen (wk), Andile Phehlukwayo, Keshav Maharaj, Beuran Hendricks, Daryn Dupavillon, Beuran Hendricks, Lutho Sipamla

Pakistan: Imam-ul-Haq, Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam (capt), Mohammad Rizwan, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Mohammed Nawaz, Faheem Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Uman Qadir, Haris Rauf

Pak vs SA: 3rd ODI in Centurion, Match Report, April 7