AB DE VILLIERS played an innings of contrasting style to his fireworks of Port Elizabeth to lead the Castle Lager Proteas to a four-wicket victory over Pakistan with 68 balls to spare in the final Momentum ODI at SuperSport Park on Saturday.
Pakistan nevertheless win the series 2-1 in a tournament that has been a personal triumph for their captain, Misbah-ul-Haq. The Pakistan captain finished his tour with an unbeaten 79 (107 balls, 4 fours and 2 sixes) before he ran out of partners as the rest of his batting line-up folded around him.
But for an eighth-wicket partnership of 51 with the recall Abdur Rehman, Pakistan would not have been able to post any kind of target for the Proteas. As it was their total of 179 fell well short of par.
The Proteas won the toss and took advantage of good bowling conditions in the first two hours with the four seamers – Vernon Philander, Lonwabo Tsotsobe, Ryan Mclaren and Wayne Parnell – sharing eight wickets between them. Philander finished with the best figures of 3/26 and achieved the remarkable feat of finishing with three successive maiden overs, two of which produced wickets.
The Proteas once again struggled to put meaningful partnerships together, the best being the 40 that De Villiers and David Miller put on for the fifth wicket that was repeated by De Villiers and McLaren for the sixth wicket.
De Villiers finished unbeaten with 48 (63 balls, 3 fours) while Hashim Amla made 41 (48 balls, 6 fours) before being run out.
Philander was named Momentum Man of the Match.
Saeed Ajmal was named Momentum Man of the Series.