AB guides SA to series win
AB de Villiers hit an unbeaten 95* to guide SA to a series winning 6 wicket win in the 5th ODI against Pakistan at Benoni on Sunday.
Pakistan’s batsmen had earlier failed to build on starts, they sorely missed the kind of big scores Misbah and Farhat had put up for them in the 4th ODI.
Dale Steyn got an early strike while Ryan McLaren jolted the middle order to leave Pakistan with an underwhelming 205 to defend for a historic ODI series win in South Africa.
The quick removal of de Kock and Colin Ingram, leaving SA at 34/2 after 11 overs gave Pak a glimmer of hope and the surprising large amount of local support egged them on.
AB de Villiers was dropped on 1 by Younis Khan and he made the opportunity count. He made his third half century of the series and nearly turned it into his second hundred of the series, adding 49 for the 3rd wicket with Hashim Amla (22, 65b, 2x4) and 87 for the 4th wicket with Farhaan Behardien (35, 36b, 3x4).
Although cautious, AB was brisk, bringing up his 50 off just 53b. He had been dismissed at a crucial point in SA’s 3 wicket loss in the 4th ODI but made sure he hung around here.
David Miller brought up the close in a hurry, hitting a run-a-ball 20 with a four and a six after Behardien’s dismissal. de Villiers brought up the winning runs with a four, giving South Africa the series 3-2.
AB made 367 runs in the series at an average of 91.75, Misbah ul Haq came in a distant second for the series at 227 runs at an average of 56.75. For looking a like he was batting on a pitch he brought from home, AB was named Man of the Series. He had also been named Man of the Series in the Tests against Pakistan. The performance also pushed de Villiers to joint no.1 in the ICC ODI batting rankings with Hashim Amla.