(Reuters) – South Africa captain AB de Villiers hit a series top score of 115 not out to lead his side to a crushing 117-run win over Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates yesterday and a 4-1 series victory.
De Villiers’s unbeaten knock at the Sharjah Cricket stadium helped South Africa to 268 for seven from their 50 overs, a target well beyond the reach of Pakistan who slumped to 151 all out in 35.3 overs.
For South Africa, who are the top-ranked test-playing nation but traditionally struggle in the limited-overs game, it was a welcome boost before a December series against World Cup winners India.
De Villiers, who passed 6,000 one-day international runs, led a vicious assault on the bowling in the final 10 overs as South Africa went from 154 for five to 268 for seven on a traditionally slow wicket.
South Africa rested key bowlers but still rocked Pakistan in the first 10 overs, reducing them to 27 for three and effectively killing any hope of victory.
Only Sohaib Maqsood, who scored 53 off 65 balls, provided any resistance but the last five wickets went for a paltry 23 runs to condemn Pakistan to a humiliating defeat.
The two teams meet in two Twenty20 internationals in Dubai on Wednesday and Friday before both squads head to South Africa for another limited-overs series starting next week.