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Pakistan overpower South Africa to win series and bring up century of T20I wins

Pakistan overpower South Africa to win series and bring up century of T20I wins
February 14, 2021

LAHORE – Pakistan chased down 165 to win the T20I series against South Africa and become the first men’s team in international cricket to win 100 T20 matches.

Tidy knocks from Mohammad Rizwan (42) and Babar Azam (44) had broken the back of the chase for the hosts, and it was Hasan Ali who steered Pakistan to victory, hooking two sixes and a four off the penultimate over to wrap the win up with eight balls to spare.

SCORECARD

South Africa’s innings had started in ignominious fashion earlier in the evening, as they steadily lost wickets to leave them 65/7 after 10.4 overs. It fell to David Miller to rescue the Proteas from No. 6, and he delivered in spades, hitting a superb 85 off just 45 deliveries.

But Miller’s heroics ultimately didn’t prove quite enough as Pakistan crunched an inexperienced South Africa bowling attack to all parts, with Dwaine Pretorius, Andile Phehlukwayo and Lutho Sipamla all going at well over ten-an-over in their spells.

Mohammad Nawaz got Pakistan off to a strong start with the ball, removing both Reeza Hendricks and JJ Smuts early to leave the tourists facing a rebuilding job during the powerplay.

Janneman Malan and Pite van Biljon looked set to do just that, but when Van Biljon was fooled by a cutter from Ali it sparked a mini-collapse as South Africa lost four wickets in nine deliveries, including two in two from debutant Zahid Mahmood.

Pretorius (9), Bjorn Fortuin (10) and Sipamla (8*) all stuck around to give Miller a chance to play out the 20 overs, and he took full advantage, finishing with four sixes in the final over as South Africa posted 164/8, a total that had seemed way out of reach at the halfway stage of the innings.

In all Miller hit 12 boundaries, including seven maximums, with Faheem Ashraf’s final over going for 25.

Pakistan got off to a flier in reply as Mohammad Rizwan and Haider Ali put on an opening stand of 51 in the powerplay.

Tabraiz Shamsi stemmed the flow through the middle overs with his first T20I four-wicket haul, finishing with figures of 4/25.

But a steady 44 off 30 balls from Azam – who had moved down to number three – pulled Pakistan close, and the chase was finished off in style by Mohammad Nawaz and Ali.

The two teams will meet again for ODI and T20I series in South Africa in April. The mini-tour, which was confirmed earlier this week, will start with three 50-over matches before a four-game T20I series split between Johannesburg and Pretoria.

“Pakistan has proved their status over the years as one of the most dangerous limited-overs teams and I’m sure they will give the Proteas a stern test on the Highveld,” said Graeme Smith, Director of Cricket South Africa.

“We will also have the much-anticipated ‘Pink ODI’ take place during the tour and that is something further to look forward to for the players, the fans, and all those associated with this iconic day.

“We are grateful to the PCB for agreeing to our request within a short period of time to increase the length of the trip by adding in a fourth T20, which will give us some much-needed additional international content.”

Pakistan will land in South Africa on 26 March and will undergo a quarantine period before entering the bio-secure environment and commencing inter-squad training.-ICC