Pakistan hammers South Africa by 8 wickets to level series

Pakistan's batsman Babar Azam, right, plays a shot as South Africa's wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock, watches on during the third One Day International cricket match between South Africa and Pakistan at the Wanderers stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa, Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)
Pakistan's bowler Shadab Khan, second from left, celebrates with teammates after dismissing South Africa's batsman Faf du Plessis, right, for 57 runs during the third One Day International cricket match between South Africa and Pakistan at the Wanderers stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa, Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)
Pakistan's bowler Usman Shinwari celebrates after dismissing South Africa's batsman Andile Phehlukwayo for 11 runs during the third One Day International cricket match between South Africa and Pakistan at the Wanderers stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa, Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)
Pakistan's bowler Usman Shinwari celebrates after dismissing South Africa's batsman Kagiso Rabada for a duck during the third One Day International cricket match between South Africa and Pakistan at the Wanderers stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa, Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)
Pakistan's batsman Fakhar Zaman, right, plays a shot as South Africa's wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock, watches on during the third One Day International cricket match between South Africa and Pakistan at the Wanderers stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa, Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)
South Africa's batsman Faf du Plessis leaves the field after dismissed by Pakistan's bowler Shadab Khan for 57 runs during the third One Day International cricket match between South Africa and Pakistan at the Wanderers stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa, Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)
Pakistan's bowler Mohammad Amir celebrates after dismissing South Africa's batsman David Miller on LBW for 4 runs during the third One Day International cricket match between South Africa and Pakistan at the Wanderers stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa, Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)
Pakistan's wicket keeper Mohammad Rizwan, left, celebrates after South Africa's batsman Hashim Amla is bowled for 59 runs during the third One Day International cricket match between South Africa and Pakistan at the Wanderers stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa, Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)

JOHANNESBURG — Pakistan kept its concentration amid a four-game ban for its captain for racist on-field comments to hammer South Africa by eight wickets on Sunday and level the one-day international series at 2-2.

Pakistan's convincing victory at the Wanderers in Johannesburg came hours after the International Cricket Council announced the punishment for Sarfraz Ahmed for an outburst aimed at South Africa allrounder Andile Phehlukwayo, who is black, in the second ODI last week.

Sarfraz's ban meant Shoaib Malik stood in as captain in Sunday's game and he led the team to a big victory, setting up a series-deciding final ODI in Cape Town on Wednesday.

Pakistan overtook South Africa's 164 all out with ease — with more than 18 overs to spare — with opener Imam-ul-Haq leading the chase with 71 to follow up on his century in the third game.

Fakhar Zaman made 44 in their opening stand of 70 and Babar Azam (41 not out) then joined Imam for a 94-run partnership for the second wicket. Pakistan cruised to 168-2.

Imam, whose century came in a losing effort in the third game on Friday, was out one ball before Pakistan clinched victory but he'd done more than enough this time.

Mohammad Rizwan, in the team in place of Sarfraz, hit the winning runs by cutting a four away through point the first ball he faced, ironically off the bowling of Phehlukwayo.

Left-arm seam bowler Usman Shinwari set up Pakistan's victory with his 4-35 after being recalled to the team. His wickets came in a devastating six-ball spell when he sent South Africa crashing from 156-5 to 157-9.

Rassie van der Dussen, Dale Steyn and Kagiso Rabada fell in the space of four balls in the same over and Phehlukwayo was removed by Shinwari off the first ball of his next over.

That ensured South Africa struggled to a poor total and was bowled out in just 41 overs despite earlier half-centuries by Hashim Amla (59) and captain Faf du Plessis (57). They shared a partnership of 101 but no other South African partnership reached 20.

Sarfraz's four-match suspension meant that he would have been available for the final Twenty20 game of the tour but the Pakistan Cricket Board said it had been decided he will return home. Shoaib will captain Pakistan again in the decisive final ODI and the three-game T20 series.

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More AP Cricket: www.apnews.com/Cricket and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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