South Africa v Pakistan 2nd T20I - Miller’s killer punch clinches T20 series for South Africa
South Africa captain David Miller’s unbeaten 62 off just 28 balls faced and smart bowling in the death overs by their pacemen, snatched an unlikely win from the jaws of defeat, against Pakistan, in a dramatic finish to the match. On a Johannesburg wicket that looked more of a 160-170 runs surface, Pakistan had a target of 189 but fell short by 7 runs.
Pakistan won the toss and decided to field against South Africa in the 2nd T20I at the New Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg today.
South Africa 188-3 (Rassie van der Dussen 45, David Miller 65*)
Pakistan 181-7 (Babar Azam 90, Hussain Talat 55; Andile Phehlukwayo 3-36)
Result - South Africa won by 7 runs
Whilst Babar Azam and Hussain Talat were at the crease having seen Pakistan score to climb to 147-1 in 16 overs, there could only be one winner or so we thought. The hundred runs for the 2nd wicket had come only in 73 balls and now another 42 runs were required off 4 overs. Babar having reached an eye-catching 90 off 58 balls with 13 fours and a six, holed out to long-on off a slower ball from Beuran Hendricks. The other two pacemen Chris Morris and Andile Phehukwayo too found success by slowing down the pace and keeping the Pakistan batsmen in check. After Hussain’s exit for a well-played 55 off 41 balls with 7 fours and a six and the asking rate now 12 runs an over, no one could take the tourists to the finish line.
Earlier on, wiith an eye on weather forecast of light rain, Shoaib Malik, chose to bowl first in the 2nd of the three-match T20I series, in the 2.30pm start. On a sub-continental type of wicket with both spin and bounce on offer, Imad Wasim showed superb T20 skills in his spell of 126.96.36.199 with 12 dot balls and keeping the score to 58-1 after 9 overs. One of two debutantes in South African side, Janneman Malan, opened the batting and looked good in his 33 off 31 balls. Before his dismissal in the 17th over, Rassie van der Dussen, taking full toll of short pitch bowling, had smashed 45 off 27 balls with a four and 4 sixes.
Pakistan were reasonably happy to have restricted South Africa to 115-2 in 15 overs but leaked 73 runs in the last 5, including that fateful last over. The score had reached 140-3 in 17.1 overs, when rain brought the players off for around half an hour. Shoaib, who is quite cool and assuring even when things are not going his way erred in asking left arm pacer,Usman Shinwari, to bowl the last over of the innings, for the bowler had already conceded 34 runs in 3 overs, and had failed to hit the right line on a slowish wicket, requiring change of pace to outdo a batsman. He also had the misfortune of bowling to Miller, one of the cleanest strikers of the ball in the game.
Not only did he keep the strike for the entire over but also smashed three sixes and two fours in an over that took the score from 159-3 to 188-3. In all, poor Shinwari was hit for 63 runs in his 4 overs, easily the worst by a Pakistan bowler in T20I. Miller brought up his 50 in 21 balls, with a six that travelled 89 meters, into the mid-wicket crowd. With 4 fours and 5 sixes to his name, Miller’s onslaught thrilled the Sunday crowd at the Wanderers, with supporters of both sides getting their money’s worth in a heart-stopping climax to the match.
South Africa - Janneman Malan, Reeza Hendricks, Rassie van der Dussen, David Miller(c), Heinrich Klaasen(wk), Andile Phehlukwayo, Chris Morris, Lutho Sipamla, Beuran Hendricks, Junior Dala, Tabraiz Shamsi
Pakistan - Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam, Hussain Talat, Shoaib Malik(c), Asif Ali, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Rizwan(wk), Hasan Ali, Shadab Khan, Shaheen Afridi, Usman Shinwari
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