Pakistan's Misbah-ul-Haq plays a shot during the 4th One Day International cricket match against South Africa in Durban, March 21, 2013. – Reuters Photo

DURBAN: Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq led his side to a three-wicket win over South Africa in the fourth one-dayer Thursday, setting up a series decider in the final match in Benoni on Sunday.

Misbah made 80 and Imran Farhat scored 93 as Pakistan chased down South Africa's total of 234 for nine with eight balls to spare.

Misbah and opening batsman Farhat shared a 153-run fourth wicket partnership after Pakistan had been struggling at 33 for three after 11 overs.

The early wickets included that of Mohammad Hafeez, who was given out for obstructing the field in the second over.

He changed direction and was hit on the leg by a throw from South African wicketkeeper and captain AB de Villiers, who was throwing at the stumps at the bowler's end when Hafeez was several metres out of his ground.

Hafeez was only the fourth batsmen -- and the third Pakistani -- to be dismissed for obstructing the field in one-day internationals.

Pakistan's fast bowlers struck early and off-spinner Saeed Ajmal took three crucial middle order wickets as South Africa struggled after winning the toss, despite a fourth wicket stand of 115 between captain De Villiers (75) and David Miller (67).

South Africa's troubles started early when the tall left-armer Mohammad Irfan took wickets with the first two balls of the match.

He had Hashim Amla caught behind, then bowled Colin Ingram with a yorker.

Fellow left-armer Junaid Khan followed up with the wickets of Graeme Smith and Farhaan Behardien as South Africa slumped to 38 for four after winning the toss.

De Villiers and Miller gave the home side hope of making a good total before Miller missed a sweep against Ajmal and was out after a career-best innings. Miller's 67 was scored off 77 balls and he hit seven fours.

Miller's dismissal came nine balls before the batting power play and South Africa's hopes plummeted when De Villiers was caught behind when he was adjudged to have gloved a sweep against Ajmal.

The off-spinner had Ryan McLaren caught in the deep as the power play yielded just 17 runs for the loss of two wickets.

Ajmal took three for 42 in ten overs, while Irfan claimed three for 46 in nine and Junaid took three for 45 in nine.

Misbah and Farhat started their stand slowly, with the fifty partnership taking 82 balls, but they picked up the pace, helped by the introduction into the South African attack of part-time leg-spinner Ingram, whose first over in international cricket cost 17 runs, including two sixes and a four by Misbah.

They had been together for 187 balls when Misbah, who has yet to hit a century in 113 innings, holed out to deep midwicket when 49 runs were still required.

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Comments (30)

March 21, 2013 8:43 am
Ahmad Shahzad would have been much better choice instead of Imran Farhat for today's match...having again no Umar Gul for Wahab Riaz and Umar Akmal for Shoaib Malik will lead to same ending as that of previous match, and this is sure....
Indian Fan
March 21, 2013 10:24 am
Why would cricket team like Pakistan play with 7 bowlers in a match?Ridiculous and hard to understand.No Umar Akmal and no Asad Shafiq means there is no one to bat in top with 7 bowlers playing together.For bowling 50 overs you don't need 7 bowlers somebody need to explain them.Why would Saeed Ajmal playing on fast tracks with no assistance to spinners.Fielding and body language suggest they have given up the match even before its started.Team needs major over haul.Pakistan selectors must be joking to have 7 bowlers in a side.
nasim khan
March 21, 2013 10:29 am
pakistan team will never improve consistently with this captain, coach and management, they may get victories here and there, but untill they dont change their mind set and select young players they will not achieve consistency
Afif Naeem
March 21, 2013 1:19 pm
Why is Wahab Riaz still in the team?
March 21, 2013 2:11 pm
Pakistan made a change and all they have is good old Imran Farhat, watch now and he will not do anything just like his past. They should have benched Kamran Akmal, Shoaib, Misbah is captain, otherwise, he should have been benched also. Shafique should have brought in. Farhat will put pressure on the team as oppose to strengthen.
March 21, 2013 4:07 pm
see the result and then reflect
Indian Fan
March 21, 2013 4:35 pm
Another scinitialting performance from one man army Misbah butchers South Africa in their own backyard.Terrific performance from Captain Misbah and Farhat comes in one match and scores 93.What a responsible batting and seems Sohaib Mailk is born to give finishing touches to win.Very Impressed with his contribution towards later part of inning which helped Pakistan crossing the finishing lines second time in the series.The way Farhat was hitting Steyn for 6 over head,seems he was treating him like school boy cricketer.Misbah is delight to watch anytime as he plays very responsibly both fast bowlers and spinners.Pakistan could rest Younis Khan and bring on Umar Akmal inplace of Younis Khan as he is struggling with form and seems short of confidence.Also there are too many bowlers playing in playing XI.Not sure you need 7 bowlers to bowl 50 overs,Congratulations team in Green shirt and another amazing victory in South Africa own backyard.
Indian Fan
March 21, 2013 5:15 pm
Yes you are right without Misbah and Mailk,Pakistan would have been 4-0 in the series and not 2-2.Learn to value what you have in life .You are playing against Number 01 team South Africa in their own backyard and not Bangladesh.Also do not forget Pakistan has been playing all away from home series.Its not easy to play away from home.Greg Chappel used to play only on Australian soil during his time .
Asif Kashmiri
March 21, 2013 5:41 pm
well said.
March 21, 2013 5:44 pm
your heading is wrong it is Pakistan bowlers who shined and starred ,it was given as halwa to these batsmen which they swallowed with difficulty in this odi
March 21, 2013 5:45 pm
Now you know the reason they have played seven bowlers . Don't underestimate the management . They know cricket than they you do ;-) Another Indian Fan .
Muba Khan
March 21, 2013 6:42 pm
Imran khan wasn't a youngster when they won the world cup. How about giving some thought before we just post random opinions.
March 21, 2013 8:17 pm
The three comments posted so far don't make any sense. Pakistan won period. Without Mishab and Imran we would have been in a lot of trouble. They both played a very responsible innings. Imran usually plays quick but he anticipated the issue and played accordingly. I really enjoyed the six he hit off Steyn!!!!! Please do not include umar akmal in the decider... He is not responsible and needs some time away from the Pakistan team. I can see Asad shafiq or Ahmed Shahzad playing instead of Younis Khan but besides that we should have the same team in the decider. Go Pakistan!!! We need to win this series.
A Subhan
March 22, 2013 12:28 am
Special congratulations to Misbah... It is the fruit of his hard work.... There are many commentators on news blogs who hate him, but their attitude is completely unfair to this through gentleman... He is the one who got reigns of the team when it was in shambles. He is not getting credit for that.
Dr. Salaria, Aamir Ahmad
March 22, 2013 12:43 am
Well done 'green-shirts.' Keep it up and hang on tough.
March 22, 2013 2:48 am
What is your problem. Always negative for Pakistan
March 22, 2013 3:37 am
Another decision against Pakistan by umpires like Billy Bowden and Steve Davis! If it was a better umpire, Hafeez was not out. Pakistan should report those wrong decisions through proper channels. In the recent past Younis Khan was LBW multiple times while played on his pads, then he goes out smiling. Khan should react strongly on the field. In the recent series Pakistan got out in their favor only after DRS reviews. And Billy Bowden and Steve Davis were culprits. If Pak captains are reporting properly about these decisions, these umpires will be removed from elite panels by ICC. Hopefully!!!
March 22, 2013 4:18 am
BRAVO GUYS good game it was fun to watch
March 22, 2013 4:23 am
93 from imran farhat were the real reason for winning the match and the whole credit is going to misbah who got out and the bowlers won the match.misbah is improving but was not responsible for the win
Syed Nazim
March 22, 2013 5:20 am
Imran Farhat is no good for ODI, see how precios earlier overs he wasted . Luckily Misbah stared the game. Some body else should be given chance in the 5th ODI.
March 22, 2013 6:19 am
Why include Wahab Riaz in the playing XI if he is only required to bowl 4 overs? Why not include Umar Akmal instead of Wahab.
March 22, 2013 7:32 am
who was the winner with 7 bowlers?
March 22, 2013 9:17 am
Misbah for president !!
March 22, 2013 12:52 pm
Imran and Misbah played a responsible inning. Nice ONE! boys. Please do the same performance against last ODI. I know you people can beat South Africa easily.
March 22, 2013 12:57 pm
nasim khan , please don't be so negative. Mishah is not the whole problem. The whole team needs support from fans as well. Everyone may not be perfect but they have done their best and worked as a team and it shows. Plus not being able to play at home is a huge psychological factor and the team is coping with it.
Indian Fan
March 22, 2013 1:55 pm
It makes little wisdom to have 7 bowlers when number of players like Sohaib Mailk is proper spinner and you can bank on him completion of his 10 overs.There are some players on top who should focus entirely on batting especially Hafeez who makes thing look shaky at times.
March 22, 2013 2:10 pm
Sorry no change needed except Younis Khan place should go to Umar Akmal.
March 22, 2013 2:11 pm
Do you know why Misbah was chosen as Man of the Match? Perhaps you don't understand cricket.
March 22, 2013 2:12 pm
Its one man army in Batting with Misbah being the sole torch bearer in all format for Pakistan,like it or not doesn't matters.
March 23, 2013 7:50 am
Imran got two chances in his innings when two catches were dropped of him. One by Steyn and one by AB Devilliers. Moreover, he dropped one very simple catch while fielding. One more thing, they had 153 runs partnership in which Misbah had 80 runs and Imran had 73 runs, although Imran was there since the beginning of the innings.
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