Pakistan outplay South Africa in the final T20I
Pakistan achieved a 27-run win in the last of the three T20s, to finish their tour of South Africa on a high.
South Africa won the toss and decided to field against Pakistan in the 3rd T20I at Supersport Park, Centurion
Pakistan 168-9 (Babar Azam 23, Mohammad Rizwan 26, Asif Ali 25, Shadab Khan 22*; Beuran Hendricks 4-14, Chris Morris 2-27)
South Africa 141-9 (Rassie van der Dussen 41, Chris Morris 55*; Mohammad Amir 3-27, Shadab Khan 2-34, Faheem Ashraf 2-38)
Result – Pakistan won by 27 runs
It was a consolation win that came through an impressive display by the bowlers and fielders of a team at the top of the ICC T20 ranking. The 20-year old all-rounder Shadab Khan, had a good game with both bat and ball to win the Player of the Match award.
With the series already lost, Pakistan tour management was happy to experiment, both with its line-up and the batting order. Put in to bat, it got off to a flying start and had reached the fifty mark at the end of the 6th and last over of the Powerplay. Their progressed was checked by South African bowlers and half the side was back in the dugout with the score standing at 94 in 12.1 overs.
The lower order was asked to take the total to some sort of respectability without taking too many risks. The ever improving left-arm paceman, Beuran Hendricks, with only two runs scored in the 19th over, picked up two more wickets to finish with excellent figures of 4-14 of his 4 overs. Shadab on strike in the last over of the innings, smashed three sixes off Andile Phehlukwayo as a priceless 21 runs propelled Pakistan total to 168-9. It was a good team effort as four batsmen crossed the 20 mark and Shadab’s unbeaten 22 off just 8 balls.
A couple of narrow defeats in the previous two T20s of the series seemed to have given Pakistan a boost and were also led very well by Shoaib Malik, particularly with his rotation of the bowlers. He was happy to bowl out Imad Wasim, who with his economical spell that went for only 19 runs in 4 overs, increased the pressure on the South African batting line-up. The loss of two early wickets kept their score down to 24-2 at the end of Powerplay and at halfway stage it had limped to 59-3, leaving a pretty stiff target of 110 off 60 balls.
With hardly any substantial partnership, the home side up against a determined opponents, kept losing wickets and the required run-rate had suddenly tipped over 12 runs per over. South Africa needed something special to stop Pakistan in a day-nighter at Centurion, which never materialised. In the top order Rassie van der Dussen, was the only batsman who had the measure of accurate bowling. Even after taking a blow on his grill, trying to hook Shaheen Afridi, he looked in good touch, before caught on a full toss off Faheem Ashraf, with 41 off 35 balls with 2 fours and as many sixes to his credit.
Pakistan bowlers kept claiming wickets, though for a moment they did get worried when Chris Morris smashed 21 runs off Faheem’s over – 14th of the innings. With no one to partner him and South Africa requiring 53 runs in the last 3 overs (18 balls), it was well beyond his capabilities. He struck 5 fours and 3 sixes – two over mid-wicket in the last over off Shaheen Afridi – as his spirited unbeaten 55 off 29 balls took the final total to 141-9.
South Africa - Reeza Hendricks, Janneman Malan, Rassie van der Dussen, David Miller(c), Heinrich Klaasen(wk), Andile Phehlukwayo, Chris Morris, Lutho Sipamla, Beuran Hendricks, Junior Dala, Tabraiz Shamsi
Pakistan - Babar Azam, Fakhar Zaman, Hussain Talat, Asif Ali, Shoaib Malik(c), Mohammad Rizwan(wk), Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Faheem Ashraf, Mohammad Amir, Shaheen Afridi
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