Fakhar Zaman might have admitted that it was his mistake when he was controversially run out by Aiden Markram following a fake fielding by South African skipper Quinton de Kock but that doesn’t mean the hosts escaped his wrath as the 30-year-old southpaw scored a series-winning 101 in the third ODI.
This was his second consecutive ton after he missed out on his second ODI double ton by mere 7 runs while captain Babar Azam scored 94 as Pakistan put 320/7 on the board in eventual 28 runs win. Zaman (101) put up a 112-run opening partnership with Imam-Ul-Haq (57) after which he put on 94 for the second wicket with Babar.
After that, however, Pakistan suffered a middle-order collapse as they went from 214/2 in the 38th over to 257/6 in the 46th.
Hasan Ali then smashed 34 runs off 11 balls, hitting four sixes and a four, to get Pakistan beyond the 300-run mark. The seventh-wicket stand between Hasan Ali and Babar was worth 63 runs off just 24 balls.
Meanwhile, Fakhar became the first Pakistan batsman to score 300+ runs in a bilateral ODI series against South Africa. Fakhar’s sixth ODI ton also put him fourth in the list of Asian batsmen who have scored most centuries in the first 50 ODI innings. Babar Azam heads the list with eight tons, followed by Imam-ul-Haq and Zaheer Abbas with seven centuries each.
Fakhar also became the third batsman after Kevin Pietersen in 2005 and Joe Root in 2016 to hit back-to-back ODI hundreds in South Africa.
He now stands second in the list of batsmen with most runs in the first 50 innings in One-day Internationals. Hashim Amla tops the list with 2486 runs while Fakhar has 2262 runs to his name.
Keshav Maharaj was the top wicket-taker for South Africa in the match, dismissing both the openers and Mohammad Rizwan. Batsman Aiden Markram was among the wickets with his off-spin. He dismissed Faheem Ashraf with a catch off his own bowling after which he got the wicket of Mohammad Nawaz thanks to a stunning catch from South Africa captain Temba Bavuma at cover.
Brief scores: Pakistan 320/7 in 50 overs (Fakhar Zaman 101, Babar Azam 94; Keshav Maharaj 3/45, Aiden Markram 2/48) vs South Africa
(With IANS Inputs)
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