Fakhar Zaman. (Source: Twitter)

Opener Fakhar Zaman smashed his second century in as many matches as Pakistan beat much-changed South Africa by 28 runs in the third and final one-day international in Pretoria on Wednesday to clinch the series 2-1.

Janneman Malan (70 from 81 balls), Kyle Verreynne (62 from 53) and Andile Phehlukwayo (54 from 61) all registered half-centuries.

Babar Azam | Winning captain | MoM: It was fun today with the way the openers started and I just looked to carry that momentum. When we lost back to back wickets, I told all the new batsmen coming in that we needed a partnership. But I would like to give Hasan Ali credit, he used those two overs well at the end. When we saw the wicket yesterday, I felt spin could play a part here. So it’s not that we weren’t prepared for spin. Today they bowled well and I would give credit to the players. Quite an important series for us, it gives our team and our players a lot of confidence. Hopefully we’ll carry it to the T20s as well and try and win that.

Fakhar Zaman | MoS: My plan was very simple. I was looking to survive the first 8-10 overs and play normally. To be honest on these grounds, it isn’t easy to bat with two new balls in the morning. So we were only looking to survive the first ten overs. It means a lot to score runs here. For the last two years I wasn’t scoring much, so it was necessary for me and my team. Thanks to my skipper for giving me these opportunities. I’m happier at having won the series.

Mark Boucher | Losing coach [Standing in for Bavuma]: Never like to lose a series at home, but well played to Pakistan. They were the better team. We gave ourselves a chance with the ball towards the end, but losing early wickets put us back. We tried to set ourselves small targets and there are short boundaries. Spin seemed to be the best option, and maybe we bowled one too many at the end, but well done to them to exploit that. We played in pockets. When we were bad we were really bad and that’s where Pakistan have capitalized. After the first game, there were some average dismissals which we put right in the second game. There were a couple of guys who came in, Malan, Kyle and Phehlukwayo put in good performances, but still, disappointed at the moment. [On missing five players] There are no excuses there, we knew some time ago what the situation was, so no excuses whatsoever. We are all working really hard in the nets and are having chats. Hopefully we can win and learn. We just need one or two individual performances from the guys to get us over the T20s. Winning is a habit and we need to start winning games. Temba doesn’t look good I’m afraid. But he was struggling while batting as well. I don’t think the near future is good for him or for us.


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