Ed Hawkins had an inkling the tourists would improve and after levelling the series at 1-1, he wonders whether they can take the lead in Jo'burg on Sunday...
The series is level at 1-1 and South Africa will be wondering what happened to their batting at Centurion. They lost five wickets for 36 runs and never really recovered after that, posting a paltry 191, to lose by six wickets. Dale Steyn returned to the side after missing the first ODI but despite one wicket and an economy rate of under four an over, the tourists were relatively comfortable in chasing the total. They could make one change. Kyle Abbot, who held onto his place for game two but was wicketless, could be replaced by Rory Klieinveldt who was unfortunate in the extreme to miss out having taken four wickets in Bloemfontein. It is possible he suffered a niggle, though.
A much improved Pakistan performance and the last two matches have captured perfectly why they can be so frustrating for gamblers. You never know which side will turn up. It was the bowlers to the fore in Centurion. The giant Mohammad Irfan took four wickets and Junaid Khan two. Saeed Ajmal, the spinner, was also on song with two wickets. There will be concern about Umar Gul's form - he went for more than seven an over - so Wahab Riaz must be in with a shout of plaing this time.
The average first-innings score in the last ten first-innings is 219. Jo'burg has a reputation for big runs, largely because of the South Africa v Australia epic which produced 872 of them in 2008. Recently it has been more of a bowler's wicket. Four times in the last ten games the side batting first have failed to post 154 or more. Pakistan were responsible for one of those, notching 153 in 2007. 15 of the 26 matches have been won by the side fielding first.
South Africa could argue that their rhythm was upset by rain in Centurion but they were already on the rocks by the time the heavens opened. There could be more rain around for this clash and, as ever, we would advise that it normally helps the side chasing. Last time out there was some huge money trying to get against South Africa but this time the market is a little calmer. The hosts are 1.594/7 with Pakistan 2.6213/8. We don't play on odds as short as South Africa so again the wise money will be a trade on Pakistan. Before their first wicket on Friday they had drifted to the cusp of 4.003/1 so the value is clear if they can get a foothold.
Top South Africa runscorer
Cricket can be a cruel game. Colin Ingram, star of the show in the second ODI with a century, got a first ball duck in Centurion. Perhaps he will now post another score? He is 5.004/1. Hashim Amla is jolly here at a scandalous 3.7011/4. Graeme Smith is 5.004/1 and AB De Villiers 4.507/2. Farhaan Berhadien, who top scored last time, is 8.4015/2.
Top Pakistan batsman
Kamran Akmal, as discussed in our previous preview, was shunted up to No 3 but the value on him has now gone. In truth we are looking at the powerful middle-order of Younis Khan, Misbah-ul-Haq and Shoaib Malik for runs.