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Pakistan beat South Africa Pakistan gained through 28 runs – Pakistan vs South Africa, Pakistan excursion of South Africa, third ODI Fit Abstract, Document | ESPNcricinfo.com

6.40 pm: Right, that’s all we have for you from this game and this ODI series. The T20Is are around the corner, so make sure you join us for those. Till then this is goodbye from Shashank Kishore, Saurabh Somani and Ranjith P.

Babar Azam is not just the series winning captain, but also Man of the Match today: The openers gave a good start and my focus was on taking it forward from the momentum they built. There was a period where we lost back to back wickets, so I was just telling every new batsman that if we can put a partnership together it’ll be good for the team. I have to give credit to Hassan Ali here, the way he came in and played. He made the main difference. It was quite surprising to face spin at the death, but after seeing the pitch yesterday, we did get an idea that we could face a fair bit of spin here. So we weren’t unprepared. But I’d like to credit the whole team, for how we put up a good total and defended it well. This is a very important series for us, winning in South Africa will give our team a lot of confidence. The individual players will also get a lot of confidence from their performances. We’ll try to take this confidence into the T20Is also.

Fakhar Zaman is the Man of the Series: My plan was very simple. I was looking to survive in the first 8-10 overs, trying to play normally. To be honest, in these grounds, specially in the morning, it’s not that easy to bat with two new balls. So our plan was simple, that we will just survive the first 10 overs. (Scoring two 100s) means a lot. I was suffering from two years, I didn’t score. So it really means a lot to me. Thanks to our skipper for believing in me and giving me these opportunities. I’m more happy with winning the series.

Temba Bavuma is still troubled by the injury he got while batting so Mark Boucher, the head coach steps in for the post match presentation:

Mark Boucher: Obviously disappointment. You never like to lose a series in home conditions, but well played to Pakistan. I thought throughout the series they were the better team. I think the papers (on field) was just trying to judge where we were and set ourselves small targets. Spin seemed to be the best option throughout the innings, we maybe bowled one too many at the back end but well done to them for exploiting that. We’ve played well at certain stages of the game. When we’ve been bad, we’ve unfortunately been very bad and I think that’s where Pakistan have capitalised. The batting, there were some iffy dismissals. But a couple of guys came in and put in good performances, so a lot of positives to take, but right now, a lot of disappointment because we lost the series. There’s no excuses, we knew exactly what’s going on quite some time ago, so no excuses whatsoever.

We are working very hard in the nets and trying to get the guys’ knowledge up there. Hopefully we can get some special performances in the T20Is. (Temba Bavuma) doesn’t look good I’m afraid. He wanted to try and carry on batting but we could see him struggling. Not sure the near future is too good for him, for us to see him on the field.

6.10pm What a game we’ve had! South Africa have gone down but they’ve made a good fist of this. Losing four key members to the IPL wasn’t ideal, but those who stepped in and got their chance proved they’re worth investing in. The scoreline will read Pakistan 2-1, but we’ve had a riveting series, made possible because South Africa’s have punched hard for most of the series.

There was a ray of hope when Phehlukwayo and Verreynne put together a century stand, but both of them fell in quick succession in trying to hit out on the face of a mounting asking rate at the death. Shaheen finishes with three wickets while it was a good debut for Usman Qadir. But the real damage was done by left-arm spinner Mohammad Nawaz, who picked up three wickets in the middle – the big strikes – to turn the game on it’s head. Over to the T20Is now.

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