De Villiers, who was dropped on one, overcame some hostile bowling on an unpredictable pitch as South Africa chased down Pakistan’s 204 with six overs to spare.
On a day when most batsmen struggled to time the ball consistently, De Villiers made his runs off just 111 balls. He hit nine fours and a six.
A fourth wicket partnership of 87 off 88 balls with Farhaan Behardien (35) made South Africa’s victory virtually certain after Pakistan’s new ball bowlers, Mohammad Irfan and Junaid Khan, caused early problems on a pitch where some deliveries bounced alarmingly, while others kept low. Pakistan seemed headed for a more competitive total when they reached 151 for four in the 35th over after winning the toss.
Ryan McLaren took three wickets in 13 balls to swing the match in South Africa’s favour.
McLaren had Shoaib Malik caught at midwicket and three balls later, with the last delivery before the batting power play, he had big-hitting Shahid Afridi caught at deep square leg without scoring.
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