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Tahir, Du Plessis, Duminy Lead South Africa To Victory

Imran Tahir celebrates
Imran Tahir's four wickets were crucial to South Africa's victory.
©REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte. Picture Supplied by Action Images

South Africa 259-8 (Duminy 64) beat
Pakistan 191 (Tahir 4-53) by 68 runs
Third One-Day International, Abu Dhabi

South Africa retook the lead in the five-match series against Pakistan courtesy of a relatively comfortable 68-run win in the third One-Day International in Abu Dhabi.

Faf du Plessis and JP Duminy hit half-centuries as the Proteas made a useful 259 for eight from their 50 overs in what has been a low-scoring series thus far. Pakistan then crumbled following an enterprising opening partnership and were all out for 191 as Imran Tahir continued his impressive tour of the UAE by taking four for 53.

Mohammad Hafeez and Ahmed Shehzad did add 50 in eight overs to get Pakistan off to a strong start in their run chase. However, Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel accounted for one apiece in successive overs and they never really recovered.

Umar Amin was caught off Lonwabo Tsotsobe, with Imran Tahir then ripping the heart out of the middle-order. He removed Misbah-ul-Haq, Asad Shafiq and Umar Akmal to leave the country of his birth reeling at 116 for seven following Ryan McLaren’s dismissal of danger man Shahid Afridi.

There was then a brief respite as Sohail Tanvir and Wahab Riaz added 61 for the eighth wicket to just about keep Pakistani hopes alive. However, as expected, those hopes were dashed when Morne Morkel had Riaz caught behind by Quinton de Kock. Tahir then completed his four-wicket haul by trapping Saeed Ajmal in front, with Tanvir the last man to fall to hand McLaren a second wicket.

South Africa had earlier been hit by the withdrawal of Graeme Smith due to post-concussion syndrome resulting from a blow to the head sustained during the Test series, with Quinton de Kock his replacement at the top of the order. They did, though, welcome back Hashim Amla from paternity leave, although he made just 10 before being bowled by Mohammad Irfan.

De Kock and du Plessis then added 77 before the young wicket-keeper was stumped by his opposite number Umar Akmal off Afridi, with man of the match du Plessis following in similar fashion not long afterwards to make it 112 for three after 22 overs.

Duminy then received support from AB de Villiers and David Miller en route to 64 as South Africa ensured that they didn’t squander their good start. He added 70 with de Villiers and 61 with Miller before being caught off Sohail Tanvir in the closing overs.

Mohammad Irfan was the pick of the Pakistan attack with three for 46, while their spin pair of Ajmal and Afridi were effective with combined figures of four for 79 from 20 overs. They weren’t, though, to have the impact on the match that Tahir would later on.

© Cricket World 2013