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South Africa pulls ahead with comprehensive win

South Africa batting clicks for the first time in ODI series as it goes 2-1 up after 68-run win

South Africa pulls ahead with comprehensive win - Cricket News
South Africa restricted Pakistan to 191 to win by 68 runs.
South Africa produced a third consecutive bowling masterclass but added its first competent batting performance to thrash Pakistan by 68 runs in the third One-Day International at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday (November 6).

Five scores between 34 and 64 from South Africa’s top six helped the side post a total of 259 for 8 before Imran Tahir led an inspired bowling unit with 4 for 53, although all five bowlers claimed at least one wicket as Pakistan was bundled out for a meagre 191 in reply.
 
The day began poorly for South Africa with the news that Graeme Smith, the captain of the Test side, was being sent home with Post-Concussion Syndrome following the Mohammad Irfan bouncer which struck him on the side of the head during his epic double-century during the second Test seven days earlier.
 
Smith was cleared to resume his innings immediately but suffered blurred vision, dizziness and difficulty focussing during the second ODI in Dubai and will return to South Africa for two weeks rest on Thursday.
 
Smith’s place at the top of the order was taken by the 20-year-old Quinton de Kock, but an opening stand of 20 ended when the returning Hashim Amla played over the top of a searing Irfan yorker.
 
Faf du Plessis, who was keen to get a meaningful score with a best of just 35 in his last dozen ODIs, made a surprise appearance at No.3 and looked relaxed and confident. Busy at the crease and charging the seamers, the right-hand batsman even showed a willingness to leave the crease against the spinners – and it cost him his wicket when Umar Akmal completed a routine stumping off Shahid Afridi moments after the same combination had accounted for de Kock following a second wicket stand of 77 in 15 overs.
 
Another promising stand of 70 between JP Duminy and AB de Villiers relaid the platform for a profitable finish but that, too, ended tamely when de Villiers, the captain, pulled a short ball from Saeed Ajmal straight to deep square leg.
 
David Miller, like de Villiers, made 34 before Ajmal sneaked one through his defences and the fifth top-order batsman had made a start without pushing on towards something more serious. Even Duminy’s top score of 64 came from a cautious 88 deliveries and ended tamely with a pulled slower ball to midwicket.  
 
At least South Africa’s batsmen had ‘starts’ to waste. For Pakistan, only Ahmed Shehzad, the opener, could claim to have been comfortable – indeed, he played some breathtaking shots against Lonwabo Tsotsobe with the new ball and flew to 32 from just 24 balls with seven boundaries before Dale Steyn had him caught at slip.
 
Tsotsobe, benefitting from a clatter of wickets, produced one of the more extraordinary bowling comebacks of recent times when his final six overs cost a mere five runs and what threatened to be a miserable night turned into one he can remember for all the right reasons with 1 for 34 in his ten overs.
 
Du Plessis found himself at the centre of some disharmony in the Pakistan camp when he dived forward to take a brave catch at backward point to dismiss Mohammad Hafeez. The batsmen stood his ground, the on-field umpires deferred to Steve Davis, the third umpire, and the catch was ruled fair. Umar Amin was given not out by Richard Illingworth, one of the on-field umpires, before the South Africans reviewed and were rewarded with a clear edge against Tsotsobe.
 
Misbah-ul-Haq’s attempt to review his lbw against Tahir’s googly was disallowed for being too tardy – quite rightly – but Tahir’s next two victims were as soft as they come. Umar Akmal pushed a dipping full toss straight back to the bowler and Asad Shafiq pushed an equally harmless half volley gently to du Plessis in the covers.
 
Shahid Afridi didn't look comfortable, inside-edging Ryan McLaren for four to get off the mark, completely misreading two slower ball bouncers, heaving and missing at another before missing a straight one to fall lbw.
 
Sohail Tanvir and Wahab Riaz stemmed the glut of wickets but from 116 for 7 there was far too much to do, and their eighth-wicket stand of 61 did little more than give the small but enthusiastic crowd something to cheer about.
 
The fourth match takes place at the same venue on Friday.  

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