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Steyn And De Kock Seal Series For South Africa

Dale Steyn about to bowl
Dale Steyn led South Africa's attack with typical aplomb.
©Action Images / Peter Cziborra Livepic

South Africa 266-5 (de Kock 112) beat
Pakistan 238 (Steyn 5-25) by 28 runs
Fourth One-Day International, Abu Dhabi

Dale Steyn recorded the best bowling figures of his career, while Quinton de Kock hit his maiden century, as South Africa wrapped up the ODI series against Pakistan in the UAE with a game to spare.

At 174 for three in the 37th over, and with only 93 more needed, Pakistan would have fancied their chances of chasing down South Africa’s total of 266 for five. However, debutant Sohaib Maqsood was caught off Steyn for a sublime 56, with Steyn then taking three wickets in the 47th over to put Pakistan firmly on the back foot.

He had Umar Akmal dismissed for 22 to end the promising stand of 48 that he had shared with his captain Misbah-ul-Haq. Three balls later, the prized wicket of Misbah was his when he was caught by AB de Villiers in the boundary, while Saeed Ajmal was bowled off the final ball of the over to make it 231 for eight.

That left the equation reading 36 from the final three overs, but Shahid Afridi was still there and when that is the case anything can happen. It did. He was run-out off the fourth ball of the very next over courtesy of a direct hit from Faf du Plessis and that was that. Pakistan were all out for 238 not long afterwards with Ryan McLaren picking up the final wicket of Junaid Khan.

Maqsood’s half-century had been the highlight of the middle part of the Pakistani run chase. He came to the crease in the 19th over with the score on 74 following Ahmed Shehzad’s dismissal. He then coped with the early losses of both Mohammad Hafeez (33) and Asad Shafiq (1) to build what was a potentially match-winning partnership with his captain.

He and Misbah added 88 in fewer than 16 overs, with Maqsood reaching fifty off only 49 balls. In all, he had hit eight boundaries, including a brace of sixes, when he was dismissed by Steyn and the match began to move in South Africa’s favour. It moved further still when Misbah was removed for 65 off 76 balls exactly 10 overs later.

Quinton de Kock had set up the South African win by hitting 112 off 135 balls at the top of the order. It was the first time the 20 year-old had passed 50 in what was his 15th international. He shared 87 in 18 overs with fellow opener Hashim Amla before Amla departed to Hafeez (2-34) for 46.

There was then a stand of 69 with AB de Villiers (30) for the third-wicket during which de Kock reached his century off 127 balls. Shortly afterwards, he became the second of two quick wickets for the recalled Junaid Khan (2-42).

The Proteas were not done yet, however, as JP Duminy and Ryan McLaren combined to take 52 from the final 38 balls of the innings to lead their side to the highest total of the series.

© Cricket World 2013