SA avoid series whitewash with wobbly win

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South Africa managed to avoid a series whitewash against Pakistan by winning the third ODI in Centurion by four wickets on Saturday, nervously chasing the 180 required with 11 overs to spare.

South Africa managed to avoid a series whitewash against Pakistan by winning the third ODI in Centurion by four wickets on Saturday, nervously chasing the 180 required with 11 overs to spare.

Vernon Philander took three wickets, while Ryan McLaren, Lonwabo Tsotsobe and Imran Tahir took two each as Pakistan were all out for 179. Pakistan would have been much worse off if not for skipper Misbah-ul-Haq's valiant 79 not out.

The Proteas then also needed to rely on their skipper as they lost wickets at regular intervals. What should have been an easy chase was made slightly nerve-racking, but AB de Villiers' 48 not out ensured the win.

Having already lost the series, the Proteas won the toss and chose to field first, with De Villiers saying he wanted to chase again and try sort out the problem before it became too bad.

Philander struck in the first over, removing Ahmed Shehzad, who got a ton in the second game, for a duck. Asad Shafiq followed soon afterwards, caught behind off Tsotsobe for one.

Umar Amin and Sohaib Maqsood tried to rebuild the innings and made 25 runs each, but they both fell to McLaren, one caught by Hashim Amla and the other caught and bowled superbly.

Amla ended up taking four catches in the game, a new record at the ground for outfield catches, and was also the remover of Bilawal Bhatti and Abdur Rehman. During all this, Misbah kept batting.

The skipper tried to up the pace at the death, striking two huge straight sixes in a row off Tahir, but Saeed Ajmal was unable to stick around and edged Parnell to De Villiers in the slips to end the knock in the 48th over.

South Africa got off to a good start as Amla and De Kock put on 39 in the first six overs. The young keeper then tried to get too aggressive though, and skyed a Bhatti delivery high in the air for Ajmal to catch.

Henry Davids and JP Duminy then failed to add meaningful scores, out for seven and 16 respectively, while Amla batted on at the other end. He reached 41 off 48 balls, including six fours, before being removed by an Umar Amin run out.

De Villiers and David Miller then steadied the ship and put on 40 together, with De Villiers hitting his first boundary in this period. Miller made 24 off 26 balls, before Umar Akmal took a good catch behind the stumps to dismiss him.

McLaren and De Villiers then also put on 40 together, with the paceman showing his all-rounder credentials with some beautiful cover drives. He was the more aggressive partner, making 17 before being bowled by Ajmal.

Parnell finished the innings off for his skipper, hitting a four to leave De Villiers stranded on 48. Not that he'd have minded, given the result, and the Proteas would have been boosted by this ahead of the series against India.

South Africa: Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock, Henry Davids, AB de Villiers, JP Duminy, David Miller, Ryan McLaren, Wayne Parnell, Vernon Philander, Lonwabo Tsotsobe, Imran Tahir

Pakistan: Ahmed Shehzad, Umar Amin, Sohaib Maqsood, Misbah-ul-Haq, Asad Shafiq, Umar Akmal, Bilawal Bhatti, Anwar Ali, Sohail Tanvir, Abdur Rehman, Saeed Ajmal

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