South Africa beat Pakistan by 28 runs after Quinton de Kock scored his maiden one-day international hundred and Dale Steyn posted his best ever match figures in the fourth game of the series in the United Arab Emirates on Friday.
Set 267 for victory, Pakistan were bowled out for 238 in 49.2 overs at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium with Steyn collecting a career-best five for 25 to hand South Africa an unassailable 3-1 lead in the five-match series.
The 20-year-old De Kock, a wicketkeeper-batsman viewed as a great prospect in South African cricket, blasted 112 off 135 balls after opening the innings as he put on 87 with Hashim Amla (46) for the first wicket.
It was far from a chanceless innings from the youngster, who should have been caught at slip by Mohammad Hafeez when he had just two, and then offered up two simple run out opportunities, one when he was on 95.
A burst at the end of the South African innings from JP Duminy (25 not out) and Ryan McLaren (28 not out) got the Proteas to 266 for five in their 50 overs.
Pakistan made a good start to their reply and looked in the game until the final four overs when Steyn returned for a lethal third spell that saw him swing the match in his side's favour.
Ahmed Shehzad (43), Sohaib Maqsood (56) and Misbah-ul-Haq (65) laid a solid platform and left the sub-continent side needing 39 to win from 24 balls with five wickets remaining.
But Steyn returned to dismiss Umar Akmal (22), Misbah and Saeed Ajmal (0) in one over and when Shahid Afridi (3) was run out by a direct hit from Faf du Plessis, the game was lost for Pakistan.
The fifth and final one-day match will be played on Monday at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium followed by two Twenty20 internationals on Wednesday and Friday next week.
Image: Quinton de Kock
Photograph: Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters