MULTAN, Pakistan, Oct 26 (Reuters) Sparkling half centuries from Graeme Smith and Shaun Pollock set South Africa up for a comfortable seven-wicket win over Pakistan in the fourth one-day international to level the series today.
South Africa easily chased down Pakistan's 230 for nine with 74 balls to spare to leave the series tied at 2-2 with the final game to be played in Lahore on Monday.
Pollock, whose 90 was his highest score for South Africa, and Smith, who scored 81, put on a record partnership of 159 from 157 balls for the second wicket, surpassing the 155 by AB de Villiers and Jacques Kallis against Pakistan this year at Johannesburg.
Both were out just three runs short of victory, pacer Rao Iftikhar having them caught in the deep in successive overs.
Smith, who scored his 31st half-century, batted with considerable ease in his 103-ball knock while Pollock made his 13th fifty striking nine fours and one six from 84 balls.
Smith's only blemish was on 74 when pacer Umar Gul put down a caught and bowled chance.
Gul also dropped Herschelle Gibbs on 35 and in the 35th over dismissed Pollock and Smith with successive deliveries that were called no-balls.
South Africa were given a blistering start by Gibbs who powered 39 from 35 balls including seven fours, three of them in one over from Gul.
Gibbs brought up the fifty in seven overs as he put on 65 with Smith. He was out leg before to Shahid Afridi.
Man-of-the-match Pollock relished the chance to bat up the order, closing the issue with some sensible hitting.
Pakistan paceman Mohammad Asif had a miserable time in his first match of the series after recovering from an elbow injury. He finished with figures of nought for 64 in eight overs.
Pakistan, having elected to bat, could not post a competitive total on a good pitch although Younis Khan scored a valiant 82 from 110 balls punctuated with six fours and two sixes.
Younis put on a substantial 91 from 114 balls with his captain, Shoaib Malik (45), for the fourth wicket after the South African bowlers, backed by alert fielding, had reduced Pakistan to 38-3.
REUTERS AB PM2343