Trailing 0-1 in the series after their loss at Port Elizabeth, the hosts levelled matters following a fine bowling performance that saw them dismiss Pakistan for 203 runs. The Proteas ultimately chased down the target with eight overs to spare to take victory.
Here, we look at the key talking points from the clash.
SHAMSI, PACERS ROCK PAKISTAN’S TOP-ORDER
Pakistan’s batting had looked imperious in the series opener but the batsmen were unable to repeat those heroics at Durban with South Africa’s pacers giving them a tough examination early on.
After scoring 87 in the Port Elizabeth win, Imam-ul-Haq could only muster five on Tuesday as he became Kagiso Rabada’s first victim. The Proteas pacer also accounted for Pakistan’s ODI stalwart Babar Azam cheaply to give the hosts a roaring start with the ball.
Fakhar Zaman and Mohammad Hafeez fell early too to Duanne Olivier and Andile Phehlukwayo respectively as Pakistan slumped to 58-4.
Once the pacers had done the early damage, it was the turn of Tabraiz Shamsi to take control in the middle with the spinner breaking the back of Pakistan’s batting with three quick scalps. Shamsi sent back three of Pakistan’s all-rounders in Shadab Khan, Hussain Talat and Faheem Ashraf to have the visitors rocking at 112-8.
HASAN ALI, SARFRAZ SPARK PAKISTAN REVIVAL
The writing seemed to be on the wall for the Men in Green as they slumped to 112-8 but they were then provided with an unexpected lift from the bat of pacer Hasan Ali.
The lower-order batsman took the attack to South Africa’s bowlers upon his arrival to the crease as he entertained the Kingsmead crowd with some sensational hitting.
Ali struck three fours and as many sixes as he brought up his second ODI half-century off just 38 balls and was the last Pakistan batsman to be dismissed for 59. He provided skipper Sarfraz Ahmed with some excellent support with their record 90-run stand for the ninth wicket.
Sarfraz battled his way to 41 at the other end with the duo lifting Pakistan’s total beyond the 200-run mark with some excellent rearguard batting. It was this partnership which was responsible for keeping Pakistan in the game after the early collapse and it was ultimately ended by Phehlukwayo.
SENSATIONAL AFRIDI AND SHADAB GIVE PAKISTAN HOPE
A total of just 203 was never going to be an easy one to defend for Pakistan but they were given a massive boost in that regard by teenager Shaheen Afridi. The left-arm pacer took three early wickets in a brilliant display of swing and control at Durban to reduce South Africa to 29-3.
Having missed out on selection in the first ODI somewhat unjustifiably after his man-of-the-series display against New Zealand, Afridi gave further glimpses oh his immense potential by removing both Proteas openers and skipper Faff du Plessis inside six overs.
David Miller and Rassie van der Dussen then briefly steadied the ship for the hosts before their 41-run stand was broken by Shadab Khan. The Pakistan leg-spinner struck with just his second over to have Miller caught at midwicket before castled the stumps of Heinrich Klaasen with the very next delivery.
Shadab’s twin strikes put the game finely in the balance with South Africa slumping to 80-5 with their best batsmen back in the pavilion.
ALL-ROUND PHEHLUKWAYO AND DUSSEN RESCUE HOSTS
At 80-5, it was all of a sudden anyone’s game with Pakistan’s bowlers sniffing blood. However, the hosts were rescued by Rassie van der Dussen who struck his second consecutive half-century in the series.
Playing in only his second ODI, Dussen curtailed the aggression he displayed at Port Elizabeth in a mature innings to dig his side out of a tricky spot. After scoring a 93 on his ODI debut, the right-hander followed it up with an unbeaten 80 at Durban to help the hosts level matters.
He was perfectly complimented by Phehlukwayo who followed up his four-wicket haul earlier in the day with a fine half-century. He was given a reprieve by Shadab before bringing up his fifty but his superb contributions with both bat and ball will have gone a long way in establishing his claim to the all-rounder’s slot for the ICC World Cup in England.
Together, the pair put on unbeaten stand of 127 runs to extinguish Pakistan’s faint hopes of a win and set up the series perfectly for the final three clashes.
Led by half-centuries from Rassie van der Dussen and Andile Phehlukwayo, the hosts chased down Pakistan’s total of 203-8 with eight overs to spare in the end.
South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis won the toss and elected to field first. His pacers immediately vindicated his decision with Kagiso Rabada grabbing two early wickets.
Mohammad Hafeez and Fakhar Zaman then fell in quick succession to Andile Phehlukwayo and Duanne Olivier respectively as the hosts took the early initiative at Kingsmead. Hussain Talat and Shadab Khan didn’t last long either as Pakistan’s slump continued.
After Pakistan were reduced to 112-8, Hasan Ali has come in and sparked a fightback with an entertaining half-century. The pacer was the last man dismissed for 59 as Pakistan’s innings folded at 203.
The Windies, meanwhile, come into the series on the back of away losses against India and Bangladesh and will be looking to get back to winning ways on their home turf.
Ahead of the first Test at Bridgetown, we take a look at three key players from either side who could make the difference in the series.
The top-order batsman is back in the Windies Test setup after more than two years in exile. The classical batsman has not played a Test since November, 2016 due to a row with Cricket West Indies but his return could provide the stability the hosts need in the batting department.
The left-hander has eight tons to his name in 49 Tests with a healthy average of 40 and he will be eager to reestablish himself in the international arena in the upcoming series.
The wicketkeeper-batsman has long been hailed as the next West Indies superstar after a promising start to his career. However, his career had seemed to stagnate a bit before he bounced back with a resurgent 2018.
He played some sensational innings in the ODI formats in India and Bangladesh and will be looking to add to his two Test tons. Hope showed his prowess against England with a century in both innings in Windies’ win at Headingley in 2017.
His career has been hampered by injuries at times but fast-bowler Shannon Gabriel has been coming into his own recently. The leader of Windies’ new-ball attack, Gabriel has been a consistent performer of late, especially in home conditions.
He picked up a record 13-wicket haul against Sri Lanka at St. Lucia last year, which are the best-ever figures by any bowler in a Test match held in the West Indies.
With a wicket tally of 120 after 40 Tests at a strike-rate of 52, Gabriel will be the hosts’ best bet against the formidable England batting line-up.
The opening batsman from Surrey was thrust into the spotlight in Sri Lanka following Alastair Cook’s retirement and gave a good account of himself in the three-match series.
A proven and consistent performer in the County Championship over the years, Burns will once again take guard in the opener’s role for England in the Caribbean alongside Keaton Jennings.
He is looking in good form at the moment after his 68-run knock in the warm-up game against a Windies Cricket XI at Cave Hill.
His 2018 was marred with off-field controversies but all that is now behind Ben Stokes as we enter 2019. The star all-rounder has wasted no time in establishing his place back in the England setup following his international exile and played a decisive role in the team’s historic Test win in Sri Lanka.
One of the few premier all-rounders in world cricket, Stokes is looking in good rhythm with both bat and ball based on the tour game showings. He will be desperate to make headlines for all the right reasons this year and Windies would be the perfect place to start.
The all-time leading wicket-taker in the Test format when it comes to pacers, Anderson will be looking to make his mark in what could possibly be his last tour of the Caribbean.
The England veteran barely made an impact in Sri Lanka with just one wicket in two Tests before he was dropped for the decider. However, in the Caribbean he will have the benefit of being able to bowl with his favoured Duke balls and that will light up the eyes of the Lancastrian.
In his only previous Test series with the Duke ball in West Indies, Anderson picked up a total of 17 wickets at an average of just 18. He will be looking to match that showing, if not better it this time around.