Pakistan routs South Africa to set up series decider

Usman Shinwari and Imam-ul-Haq starred as Pakistan set up an ODI series decider against South Africa thanks to Sunday's eight-wicket win.

Pakistan celebrate a wicket against South Africa   -  Getty Images

Pakistan ensured its ODI series with South Africa would go to a decider thanks to a comprehensive eight-wicket success in Johannesburg on Sunday.

Trailing 2-1 heading into the fourth game at the Wanderers, the tourist was dealt a further blow with the news that captain Sarfraz Ahmed had been suspended under the ICC's anti-racism code for comments made towards Andile Phehlukwayo during Tuesday's loss in Durban.

Shoaib Malik led the side in the absence of Sarfraz, who will also miss the fifth ODI as well as the first two Twenty20s, and the stand-in skipper saw Usman Shinwari and Imam-ul-Haq deliver telling performances.

READ: ICC hands Sarfraz Ahmed four-match suspension

Left-arm quick Shinwari produced a sensational burst to pick up four wickets in six balls to blow away the lower order as South Africa crumbled from 119-2 to 164 all out, failing to build on the good work of Hashim Amla (59) and Faf du Plessis (57).

Imam made 101 in Friday's 13-run loss via the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method, and the opener followed that up with a typically patient 71 as Pakistan cruised home with more than 18 overs remaining to set up a winner-takes-all finale in Cape Town on Wednesday.

There was little reason for Quinton de Kock to celebrate his 100th ODI as he was trapped lbw for a duck by Shaheen Afridi, who also accounted for Reeza Hendricks - caught behind down the leg side.

From 18-2, Amla and Du Plessis mounted a recovery - the latter given a reprieve on four when Shadab Khan shelled a tough chance - but a stand of 101 was ended when Shadab won a battle of wills with the Proteas' captain, who holed out in seeking a third swept four of the over.

READ| PCB disappointed with ICC's decision to suspend Sarfraz

Imad Wasim castled Amla soon afterwards and the South Africa collapse was well under way as Mohammad Amir pinned David Miller before Shinwari (4-35) took out Rassie van der Dussen, Dale Steyn and Kagiso Rabada in one over and accounted for Phehlukwayo with the first ball of his next.

That spell gave Pakistan all the momentum and it carried that into the chase as Imam enjoyed a fluent stand of 70 with Fakhar Zaman, who departed having hit seven fours in his run-a-ball 44.

There was little sign of a collapse to rival that of South Africa's, however, and even though Imam perished in aiming a wild swipe at Phehlukwayo with only one needed, he and Babar (41 not out) had essentially eased the visitor to victory with a minimum of fuss.

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