Pakistan sealed a 2-1 series victory on Wednesday, winning the third and final ODI against the Proteas by 28 runs in Centurion.
The Proteas were forced into seven changes for the deciding clash at SuperSport Park as Rassie van der Dussen pulled up with an injury ahead of play. Added to the IPL players’ unavailability, the Proteas team featured a few fresh faces, while Keshav Maharaj replaced Tabraiz Shamsi as the spinner in the team.
The visitors were sent in to bat first by Temba Bavuma and openers Imam-ul-Haq and Fakhar Zaman were into their stride early, getting Pakistan off to a good start. Zaman reached another century, while Ul-Haq and captain Babar Azam each made half-centuries to help Pakistan advance to a decent 320-7.
Keshav Maharaj was the pick of the bowlers for South Africa, claiming figures of 3-45 in his 10 overs on a day when the inexperienced pace attack of Beuran Hendricks, Daryn Dupavillon and Lutho Sipamla struggled against the Pakistan batsmen.
Janneman Malan made an excellent start to the Proteas’ run chase, despite losing fellow opener Aiden Markram for 18. Jon-Jon Smuts added 17 before he was bowled by debutant Usman Qadir.
Malan, though, showed his class to bring up a half-century of his own with a few crisp strikes to the boundary. Unfortunately, he fell for 70 when Mohammad Nawaz trapped him in front. Nawaz struck again only a few deliveries later, clean bowling Bavuma for 20 before the spinner picked up a third with the wicket of Heinrich Klaasen, who could manage only four.
Kyle Verreynne and Andile Phehlukwayo consolidated the Proteas’ innings and provided them with a lifeline as they added a magnificent 100-run stand for the sixth wicket.
Both players reached their respective half-centuries but Verreynne fell after going for a big shot, caught on the boundary for 62.
Phehlukwayo departed soon after for 54, hitting one straight up into the air to be caught by keeper Mohammad Rizwan.
The Proteas were left with 66 to get from the final overs of the game. This proved a bridge too far as the Pakistan quicks cleaned up the tail to dismiss South Africa for 292.
Proteas: Janneman Malan, Aiden Markram, Jon-Jon Smuts, Temba Bavuma (c), Kyle Verreynne, Heinrich Klaasen (wk), Andile Phehlukwayo, Keshav Maharaj, Beuran Hendricks, Daryn Dupavillon, Lutho Sipamla.
Pakistan: Imam-ul-Haq, Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Muhammad Nawaz, Faheem Ashraf, Hassan Ali, Shahen Afridi, Usman Qadir, Haris Rauf.