Unbeaten AB de Villiers leads South Africa to series win
South Africa captain AB de Villiers led from the front with an unbeaten 115 as South Africa triumphed Pakistan in the 5th ODI by 117 runs at Sharjah, sealing a 4-1 series victory on Monday.
Choosing to bat first, South Africa lost opener Hashim Amla (3) in the 1st over. Quinton de Kock (34) and Faf du Plessis (46) revived the innings until they departed after getting good starts in quick succession. JP Duminy followed suit and the Proteas were suddenly in trouble at 62/3 in the 16th over.
In walked captain de Villiers, who smashed his way to century No.15 in ODIs with support from the middle-order and restored order. His unbeaten knock of 115 included 10 fours and 3 massive sixes. Wickets fell like ninepins around him, but the skipper continued to attack from one end, taking his side past the 200-run mark.
Ryan McLaren's 24-ball 27 towards the end added some more runs to the South African total, as they posted a score of 268/7 in 50 overs. Saeed Ajmal (3/45) was Pakistan's most successful bowler with crucial wickets of de Kock, David Miller and McLaren.
Pakistan's response was a typically dismal batting performance, something seen very often in this series. They were 8/2 in the 6th over, losing both openers early in the innings. Sohaib Maqsood (53) offered some resistance with a gritty fifty, while wickets kept falling at regular intervals from the other end. By the 30th over, Pakistan had already lost half of their side and they were not even close to a total of150. Maqsood finally gave in to the pressure and departed off Duminy's bowling, which was followed by a batting collapse.
The Tsotsobe-Philander duo worked in great cohesion from both ends at the beginning, while Wayne Parnell (3/36) brought about Pakistan's downfall towards the end. McLaren and Duminy wreaked havoc in the middle-order with 2 wickets each. Pakistan were all-out for 151 in 35.3 overs, conceding defeat by a huge margin of 117 runs.