A record-breaking batting display from Hashim Amla and A.B. de Villiers took South Africa to a 34-run win over Pakistan in the third one-day international (ODI) on Sunday.
The South Africa pair set a record third-wicket ODI partnership of 238 as the hosts scored 343 for five to set Pakistan an imposing target that, despite a thrilling 88 from Shahid Afridi, they fell short of on 309 all out.
It was a batting master class from Amla and De Villiers, with an array of both orthodox and audacious shots to thrill a capacity crowd of 28,000 fans at the Wanderers, and they beat the previous record of 237 set by India against Kenya in 1999.
Amla, who in the second over had a leg-before-wicket decision against him overturned on review, was caught by Misbah-ul-Haq on 122, while captain De Villiers made 128 before skying one to the deep that Shoaib Malik did well to catch off Saeed Ajmal.
A cameo of 45 from Faf du Plessis off just 19 balls added to the tally at the end of the innings.
However, the South Africa batting performance came close to being overshadowed by another spell-binding slog from Afridi, who was driving Pakistan to victory before he was caught on 88.
He showed why he is nicknamed “Boom Boom,” while he plundered seven sixes and five fours in an astonishing display of power-hitting.
Afridi’s innings lasted just 48 balls, although he got a life while on 73 when he chopped on to his stumps, but on review bowler Ryan McLaren was no-balled by the umpire.
“It was a special knock. We got down on ourselves, but I told the guys we were seeing something special,” De Villiers said of Afridi’s onslaught, which included a six that cleared the grandstand.
Once Afridi departed with Pakistan still 99 runs short, it proved too big a target.
South Africa, who played in a pink uniform to raise awareness of breast cancer, lead the five-match series 2-1, with games to come in Durban on Thursday and in Benoni on Sunday.
Pakistan have called up left-arm pace bowler Sohail Tanvir as cover for Umar Gul and Mohammad Irfan, who have fitness issues.
“He was already in South Africa so he was asked to join the team as a cover for Gul and Irfan, who are unfit,” chief selector Iqbal Qasim said.
Irfan bowled seven overs on Sunday, but limped off the field after aggravating a hamstring strain. Gul did not play.