Pretorius, Hendricks and van Biljon seal series-levelling win
LAHORE (92 News) – Dwaine Pretorius’ record five-fer followed by scores of 42 by Reeza Hendricks and Pite van Biljon helped South Africa level the three-T20I series as the tourist defeated Pakistan by six wickets in the second match at the Gaddafi Stadium on Saturday.
Pretorius recorded South Africa’s best T20I bowling figures in the format as he accounted for five Pakistan batsmen for just 17 runs from four overs as Henrich Klaasen decided to field after winning the toss. These were also Pretorius’ best figures in T20 cricket.
The right-arm pacer provided a big breakthrough in the must-win contest for his team with the wicket of Babar Azam on the second ball of the second over. The Pakistan captain was LBW for five. Haider Ali (10 off 11) was the next wicket to fall as he flicked Andile Phehlukwayo to the deep square leg in the fifth over.
10 of Pretorius’ 24 balls were dots which kept the hosts under the pump. Later, he was named player of the match.
Tabraiz Shamsi, once again in the series, sent Hussain Talat back as the latter reverse swept the left-arm unorthodox to backward point to leave the hosts in a precarious 48 for three after 6.2 overs.
The visitors dried up the runs after the powerplay overs as the hosts managed only 27 runs in the overs 7-11.
But the fact that Mohammad Rizwan was at the other end ensured that despite the fall of wickets, the runs continued to come for the hosts. He smashed a remarkable half-century, becoming the first Pakistan wicketkeeper-batsman to post scores of 50-plus in three consecutive T20I innings.
Rizwan made 51 off 41 balls and crunched six fours and a six before he became Pretorius’ one of the victims in the 16th over which brought Faheem Ashraf in the middle with the scorecard reading 97 for five.
That Pakistan posted a respectable 144-7 was because of the all-rounder as Faheem smoked two sixes and as many fours in his unbeaten 30 off 12, which helped Pakistan gather 48 runs in the last five overs.
Shaheen Afridi provided his team a dream start with a wicket on just the second ball of the run chase and hurling a wicket-maiden in his next over.
An incredible 77-run stand for the third wicket between Hendricks and van Biljon shifted the momentum back in South Africa’s favour denying Pakistan bowlers any further opportunities to make inroads till the 12th over.
Usman Qadir dismissed Reeza and Mohammad Nawaz accounted for van Biljon in the 12th and 13th overs respectively which promised a twist in the tale, but seasoned T20 batsman David Miller ensured that there were no further dramas as the left-handed batsman took South Africa over the line with a breezy 19-ball 25 not out (two fours and a six).
South Africa chased down the target with 3.4 overs spare.
The two teams play the final tomorrow (14 February) at the Gaddafi Stadium.
Scores in brief:
South Africa beat Pakistan by six wickets
Pakistan 144-7, 20 overs (Mohammad Rizwan 51, Faheem Ashraf 30 not out, Iftikhar Ahmed 20; Dwaine Pretorius 5-17)
South Africa 145-4, 16.2 overs (Reeza Hendricks 42, Pite van Biljon 42, David Miller 25 not out; Shaheen Afridi 2-18)
Player of the match – Dwaine Pretorius (South Africa)