South Africa vs Pakistan 1st T20I: Pakistan pip South Africa
Led by Mohammad Rizwan’s brilliant unbeaten 74 off 50 balls, Pakistan chased down their highest T20I total to go one-up in the four match series against South Africa at Wanderers, Johannesburg. The contest went to the wire and the tourists’ four-wicket win was achieved, with only a ball to spare.
South Africa 188/6 (20 ov)
Pakistan 189/6 (19.5 ov)
Pakistan won by 4 wickets
South Africa opting to bat first had Janneman Malan showing good positive intent by hitting two sixes off Shaheen Afridi in the third over. One a perfect straight six and followed with one over wide long-on. A dry surface offered turn and Mohammad Nawaz’s three overs of slow left-arm worth only 17 runs kept the powerplay score to 48-2 after six overs. The Proteas, with three left-handed in the top seven, it seemed went into the top gear too soon.
Aiden Markram, played all the bowlers with confidence and only needed 30 balls to reach his fifty and South Africa at the half stage had climbed to 98-2. Pakistan desperate to regain control send back Markram for 51 when Nawaz was brought in for his last over, who would finish with excellent figures of 2-21, including 9 dot balls. The hundred came in 10.3 overs and every likelihood of doubling it as both Usman Qadir and Haris Rauf, were proving expensive.
Standing in for injured Temba Bavuma, skipper Heinrich Klassen was picking up boundaries on offer through orthodox range of strokes. He got to his fifty off 24 balls as South Africa were on their way to a total beyond 200. It is a high scoring wicket with value for good strokes and even top edges flying over the rope. With little respite for the bowlers the score after 15 overs was 151-3. Faheem Ashraf’s yorker hit Klassen on the foot and the batsman was dismissed soon in the 17th over. Pakistan bowlers did not concede a boundary in four consecutive overs from No. 16 to No.19, and in the end did extremely well to keep the total down to 188-6.
Pakistan, much more experienced than their counterparts, were in pursuit of a competitive target but decided against opening with Fakhar Zaman, with two hundreds in his last two innings. One of South Africa’s first three T20I debutantes today, Sisanda Magala, the 30-year old coloured fast medium bowler, went for 20 runs in his first over. Even with that over, Pakistan were still behind the clock, at the end of the powerplay at 48-1 off six overs.
After smashing a huge six off Tabraiz Shamsi, Fakhar was caught on the fence and Pakistan were placed on 86-2 after 10 overs, now requiring another 103 runs off 60 balls. Mohammad Hafeez, playing in his 100th T20I, joined Riwan, who brought up his 50 off 33 balls to his name with 7 fours and a six. South African bowlers and fielders were to come under pressure, though they had only conceded two sixes at the end of over number 13.
In the last 5 overs, Pakistan were still 57 runs away from their target. In the 18thover bowled by Beuran Hendricks, Rizwan pounced on to the three low full tosses to add 14 runs. Some fielding lapses proved costly for the home side, who would have loved to get rid of Faheem, who only faced 14 balls for his 30-run cameo.
South Africa - Aiden Markram, Janneman Malan, Heinrich Klaasen(c)(wk), Pite van Biljon, Wihan Lubbe, George Linde, Andile Phehlukwayo, Sisanda Magala, Beuran Hendricks, Lizaad Williams, Tabraiz Shamsi
Pakistan - Mohammad Rizwan(wk), Babar Azam(c), Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Hafeez, Haider Ali, Mohammad Nawaz, Faheem Ashraf, Hassan Ali, Shaheen Afridi, Usman Qadir, Haris Rauf
Start Time: 13:30
Toss: South Africa won the toss and decided to bat
Venue: Imperial Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg
Officials: Adrian Holdstock, Allahudien Paleker, Bongani Jele, Shaun George, Andrew Pycroft
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