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Proteas take series with comfortable win at Newlands

The win also means they wrap up the series 3-2. South African won the toss and elected to field in their fifth and final ODI at Newlands.

Proteas batsmen Andile Phehlukwayo and Rassie van der Dussen have a chat in between overs. Picture: @OfficialCSA/Twitter

CAPE TOWN - The Proteas were in control of the match from start to finish as they made light work of Pakistan; they beat their opponents by 7 wickets in what was a comfortable match in Cape Town.

The win also means they wrap up the series 3-2. South African won the toss and elected to field in their fifth and final ODI at Newlands.

The Proteas also experimented with three all-rounders in their side, Dwaine Pretorius and Wiaan Mulder came back into the XI for David Miller and Beuran Hendricks.

Dale Steyn immediately had Pakistan on the back foot when he removed Imam ul-Haq in the third over, the left-hander was caught behind with score at 8 for 1.

Thereafter, Fakhar Zaman and Babar Azam did more than just stabilise the innings, they oversaw a flurry of boundaries.

With a point to prove, Pretorius got the vital breakthrough sending Azam’s stumps tumbling for a well played 24 with the score 64 for 2.

Once again, the visitors looked to have clawed their way back into the innings with Zaman and Mohammed Hafeez but Andile Phehlukwayo struck a lethal double blow.

Firstly, he got the “Professor” Mohammed Hafeez for 17 but the second wicket was even more rewarding; he removed the dangerous Zaman for 70 off 73 balls, which included 10 boundaries and was the top scorer of the visitors.

At 124-4 after 25 overs, not the worst position but a position that required a huge effort from the new Pakistani batsmen having just lost their mainstay Zaman.

With the incumbent captain Sarfraz Ahmed suspended, the stand-in captain Shoaib Malik and stand-in wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan looked to rebuild but that plan did not last long as Rizwan lost his wicket for 10, Pakistan were now 147-5.

Pakistan’s Achilles heel in this innings was losing wickets at regular and important intervals - they failed to stout of third gear and the end of their batting stint was very similar.

Wiaan Mulder and Kagiso Rabada also got wickets for themselves, the young all-rounder nabbed Shadab for 19 while Rabada castled Mohammad Amir with trademark Yorker very cheaply.

If not for Imad Wasim’s much needed and impressive cameo, 47 of 31 balls, Pakistan would have had to settle for a total much less than 240-8 after 50 overs. Wasim also hit a six off the last ball of the innings to at least add some hope for the Pakistani’s at the dinner break.

After such an excellent bowling display, South Africa knew a 241 was do-able on a Newlands pitch that was actually a very nice strip despite Pakistan’s underwhelming score.

The Proteas got off to a solid start with Quinton de Kock and Hashim Amla looking at ease. The aggressive de Kock was given a lifeline as Usman Shinwari was adjudged to have overstepped the mark for a no-ball which meant his dismissal of the batsman did not count, de Kock took advantage of the reprieve.

Scoring at over six an over, Amla was the first to go with the score on 39 for 1, he was caught behind off the bowling of the impressive left-arm quick Shaheen Afridi.

The in-form Reeza Hendricks joined de Kock and they kicked on from the base set up by the openers. They managed a 60-run partnership at better than a run a ball. Unfortunately for Hendricks, who did not look troubled in the middle, he was dismissed for 34 off 33 balls.

In walked Faf du Plessis with the score 100-2, South Africa at this stage were ahead of the required rate so it was ripe for time in the middle for the Proteas skipper.

He joined de Kock who by now was seeing the white ball like a beach ball, he was in such a belligerent mood, swatting 11 boundaries and three sixes in an innings which showcased his match-winning ability. Unfortunately, he fell to Shinwari for 83, the same bowler who let him off the hook early on in the South African innings.

The Proteas were now 146-3, du Plessis was joined by the in-form rookie Rassie van Der Dussen, the pair took their time to get used to the pace of the wicket, which they did. In complete control, the pair rotated the strike between well, while they also took advantage of any loose bowling. The captain and international newcomer steered the Proteas to victory with an unbeaten 95 run partnership.

To add the icing on the cake, both reached their half-centuries as well, deserved for both, but van der Dussen got his half-century on the last ball of the match with his third six of the innings.

With their seven-wicket win, South Africa take the series 3-2 with a three-match T20i beginning on Wednesday.

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