De Kock century propels South Africa to 266-5
ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Opening batsman Quinton de Kock capitalized on a dropped catch to hit his maiden century as South Africa posted a series-best total of 266-5 against Pakistan in the fourth one-day international on Friday.
Mohammad Hafeez dropped a regulation slip catch when de Kock was on 2, and the left-hander made Pakistan pay for it by scoring 112 off 135 balls with nine fours and a six.
Hashim Amla (46) and de Kock laid a solid foundation of 87 runs, and captain AB de Villiers (30), who won the toss, added another 69 with de Kock.
Ryan McLaren (28 not out) and JP Duminy (25 not out) provided an ideal finish by adding 52 quick runs off 38 balls.
Amla and de Kock should have both been dismissed in the fourth over, but first Hafeez missed a sitter off seamer Sohail Tanvir and then Misbah could not hit the stumps at the non-striker’s end to run out Amla.
Both batsmen shared South Africa’s best opening stand in 2013 on the same pitch where South Africa made 259-8 on Wednesday. Hafeez (2-34) finally knocked back Amla’s offstump in the 19th over.
Faf du Plessis, who scored a half century on Wednesday, fell in Mohammad Irfan’s second spell when he skied a catch to Saeed Ajmal, and de Villiers upped the scoring tempo by adding 35 runs in the batting powerplay.
Pakistan wasted another opportunity to dismiss de Kock on 95, but Ajmal could not gather Shahid Afridi’s throw cleanly at the non-striker’s end with the left-hander way out of his crease.
De Kock, who scored 40 on Wednesday when he replaced the injured Graeme Smith, raised his maiden century when he lofted Irfan for a big six over long on.
Junaid Khan (2-42), playing his first match of the series, finally had de Kock caught in the 43rd over when Misbah took a low catch at mid off. The late charge by McLaren and Duminy gave Pakistan a stiff target to level the five-match series, which it trails 2-1.