LAHORE - Pakistani skipper Misbahul Haq once again made the entire nation proud with a captain’s innings on Thursday when he led an impressive run-chase for Pakistan to secure victory in the fourth One-day International against South Africa at Kingsmead in Durban.

Pakistan were struggling at three down for 33 before Misbah and Imran Farhat developed a match-winning partnership which not only saved the day for the visitors but also kept the series alive.

Pakistan team’s three-wicket impressive victory made enthusiastic Pakistanis more excited as it will provide them a chance to witness best-of-five thriller against the high-flying Proteas.

Misbah stole the limelight with a man of the match award but Imran Farhat also delivered his best innings in recent times as he scored 93 crucial runs that also made a massive difference in the end. Farhat proved his critics wrong as he made wonderful contribution for his country and proved that he is responsible and sensible batsman who can steer his help his team register important victories.

The unity in the team was the main factor for which the former cricketers and analysts had been expecting time and again. And this unity not only helped them in getting a well-deserved triumph but also assisted them in getting desired results and setting best-of-five clash with one of the world’s best teams.

Though most of the batsmen even did not reach double figures except three yet only the skipper and Farhat did it for Pakistan and scored important runs to chase the target set by the opponents.

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 the captain. They had been together for 187 balls when Misbah, who is yet to hit a century in 113 ODI innings, holed out to deep midwicket when Pakistan were still 49 runs away from a morale-boosting victory.

Credit also goes to Shoaib Malik who with his experience steered the team to important victory in the dying moments of the match. Had Shoaib Malik left the crease, Pakistan could have lost the match as Farhat had already lost his wicket at the crucial time which could cost Pakistan dearly but Malik accepted the responsibility and completed his task by achieving the required target.

With his charismatic bowling, M Irfan once again proved that he is a great bowler though needs some extra treatment from coaches regarding his fitness which is a key to his bowling success.

The lanky left-armer still has great pressure on Proteas therefore he is performing well in every match against Africans taking their important wickets which provides other bowlers chance to grab wickets as well. In the fourth ODI, the same happened when M Irfan got two wickets very early which helped Junaid Khan in bagging wickets not only for him but for the team s well. Both the fast bowlers did well in this match and managed to take three wickets each.

When Africans lost early wickets, it was expected that green shirts would bowl Proteas out before 200 runs but once again AB de Villiers and David Miller proved that they are good enough to play against Pakistan especially punishing them well and adding important runs in their team’s total. The team management should chalk out a plan against South Africa and particularly against these two players how to get rid of them early not allowing them to play big innings for their team.

So it can be said that it was unity and team work which led Pakistan to victory setting a series decider in the final match in Benoni on Sunday. If Pakistan team will play their final match with the same unity, team work and good planning, they will definitely come out triumphant and will return home with ODI crown on their heads.