De Villiers century sinks Pakistan

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The seam bowlers completed what AB de Villiers started, as South Africa romped to a 117-run win – and four-nil series triumph – over Pakistan in Monday's fifth and final ODI at the Sharjah International Stadium.

The seam bowlers completed what AB de Villiers started, as South Africa romped to a 117-run win – and four-nil series triumph – over Pakistan in Monday's fifth and final ODI at the Sharjah International Stadium.

De Villiers' success started at the toss, when a wise decision to bat first ultimately amounted to a formidable total of 268 for seven. The captain's 115 – his 15th ODI ton, second against Pakistan – proved the backbone of the total.

Striking 10 fours and a trio of handsome sixes across an entertaining vigil that spanned 148 minutes and a mere 102 deliveries, the hard-hitting right-hander typified the term 'leading from the front'.

The under-fire Faf du Plessis, meanwhile, confirmed his newfound home at three in the order with a solid 46 – and cherished complementary cameos from opener Quninton de Kock (34) and all-rounder Ryan McLaren (27).

Pakistan, characteristically, relied heavily on the services of spin threesome Saeed Ajmal, Mohammad Hafeez and Shahid Afridi. Intriguingly, left-armer Junaid Khan was only deployed as fourth-change bowler – and might've snared more than two wickets had he been brought into the attack earlier.

A visiting attack minus the services of the rested Morne Morkel and Dale Steyn required its second-string ranks to come to the proverbial party. All-rounders Vernon Philander and Wayne Parnell duly obliged.

The pair shared five wickets, with Philander enjoying his first ODI victims in more than a year. Part-time slow bowler JP Duminy, too, proved fruitful – after frontline spinner Robin Peterson copped a slew of expense.

The inexperienced Sohaib Maqsood, who debut in the previous fixture, welcomed another half-century – his 53 was as good as it got in a very insufficient total of 151 all out in 35.3 overs.

De Villiers was named Man of the Match, while McLaren took the Player of the Series accolade on the back of 105 runs in five innings at the decent average of 35.00 and nine wickets at 19.88 each. The sides will meet for a two-match Twenty20 International later this week – and will then travel to South Africa for five more limited-overs fixtures.

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