Abu Dhabi - South African captain AB de Villiers showed pride in his team after
winning the one-day series against Pakistan, hailing a comeback after
losing tamely to Sri Lanka four months ago.
South Africa took an
unassailable 3-1 lead in the five-match series after a hard fought
28-run win in the fourth game in Abu Dhabi on Friday night.
Villiers, whose team lost 4-1 in Sri Lanka in July, was delighted with
the improvement against a Pakistan side he rates highly.
proud of each and every one of the team, a series win away from home is
never easy especially after defeat in Sri Lanka and against a
world-class team like Pakistan," De Villiers said after the match.
Quinton de Kock set the foundation with a maiden century while paceman
Dale Steyn took a career best 5-25 to derail Pakistan, who were 228-5 at
one stage after being set a 267-run target.
"I thought it was a
very solid performance, it was a make or break game for us. We were
excited but a little bit nervous at the prospect of what is lying ahead
and the way the boys responded is magnificent," said De Villiers.
(series win) is a small step in the right direction, we definitely are
not a great side yet, very far off still, but winning a series away from
home is great," said De Villiers, who singled out Steyn for praise.
is an impact player for us. I bowled him when we felt like we could
make inroads in Pakistan's batting. I never felt that it was getting out
of our hands but I had a feeling that we needed to stay patient."
turned the game in South Africa's favour in the 47th over, claiming the
wickets of Umar Akmal (22), Misbah-ul Haq (65) and Saeed Ajmal (nought)
to bundle Pakistan out for 238, but the role played by De Kock was not
lost on De Villiers either.
"I am very very proud of him, the way
he came back after a disappointing series in Sri Lanka just tells you
about his character and obviously about his talent, I always knew that
he is a special talent," said De Villiers of the 20-year-old
Meanwhile, Pakistan captain Misbah blamed his team's defeat on their lack of mental strength.
need to be mentally strong, need to be calm because in such situations
an over can change the game and that's what happened," said Misbah.
Misbah termed a narrow one-run defeat in the first match as the turning point of the series.
turning point was the first game, had we won that the result would have
been different," said Misbah of the match in Sharjah when Pakistan
failed to chase a modest 184-run target.
"As a captain it's not being under pressure, it's disappointment that we cannot handle the pressure."
fifth and final one-day international will be played in Sharjah on
Monday before the teams play two Twenty20 internationals on November 13
and 15 - both in Dubai.