Pak vs SA: Pakistan win last-over thriller with 4 wickets to spare, up 1-0 in T20I series
Pakistan beat South Africa by 4 wickets in the first T20 international in Johannesburg on Saturday to take a 1-0 lead in the 3-match series.
Mohammad Rizwan’s unbeaten 74 helped the visitors gun down the target of 189 with 1 ball to spare.
Rizwan stitched three crucial partnerships with Babar Azam (41), Fakhar Zaman (45) and Faheem Ashraf (48)
during the run chase to guide Pakistan to victory in the final over of the match.
Rizwan’s 50-ball knock was laced with 9 boundaries and a couple of sixes. Faheem (30), Fakhar (27) and Babar (14) made some useful contributions
and more importantly, provided the support that Rizwan needed at the other end to pull off Pakistan’s highest successful run chase in T20I cricket.
Match Summary (Pakistan beat South Africa)
South Africa 273/6 (50 ov)
Pakistan 277/7 (50 ov)
Result – Pakistan won by 3 wickets
ScorecardMatch Report – Salim Parvez – Pakistan squeeze past Proteas
In a tight finish to the first of three-match ODI series, Faheem Ashraf hit a four off the last ball to take Pakistan to a three-wicket win at Supersport Park, Centurion.
Pakistan beat South Africa/ South African selectors today had entrusted Temba Bavuma with the ODI captaincy letting Quinton de Kock to focus on his batting and wicket-keeping.
Babar Azam’s decision to bowl first was a bold move. Shaheen Afridi and his fellow pacemen took advantage of the moisture.
The seventh over of the innings saw him being hooked for a six off a free hit by Aiden Markram
but the very next ball the batsman was caught spectacularly by Faheem Ashraf,
diving forward at mid-off, leaving South Africa at 41-2.
By the 15th over, Pakistan was in complete control for they had brought the scoring rate down
and picked up the fourth wicket with score on 55.
The 31-year old David Miller was asked to rescue the home side which clearly had no momentum.
Shadab Khan, could not have arrived at a better time as the first slow bowler of the day
with South Africa having progressed to 86-4 in 20 overs.
The much-needed fifth-wicket stand from SA point of view between van der Dussen and Miller – 50 off 62 balls – repaired their innings.
Shadab didn’t bowl well and offered some free hits, gleefully accepted and was hit for 34 runs in 5 overs. When drinks were taken on 137-4 (29 overs),
Pakistan it seems had allowed the game to run away a bit. Miller was caught behind off Haris Rauf but not before contributing 50 (56 balls.5 fours) in a fighting 116-run stand.
After 40 overs the score was 191-5 and van der Dussen with 77 to his name was still at the crease to help aim for a 280 plus total.
After crossing his previous best 95, he put the team’s interest first, reaching three figures and would remain unbeaten on 123 off 134 balls with 10 fours and 2 sixes to his credit.
His first six – 76 meter – off Mohammad Hasnain was a cross batted slog over wide long-on in the 45th over. Through him South Africa added 82 runs in the last 10 overs to finish with a challenging total of 273-6.
The first powerplay was worth 37-1 in 10 overs, boosted by three scorching boundaries from skipper Babar Azam.
His second wicket stand with Imam-ul-Haq, who despite his limitations in stroke play
and manoeuvring the ball in gaps, provided Pakistan with a match-winning platform.
His own fifty came off 63 balls with 2 fours and a six
and the team’s total had reached 128-1 off 25 overs at the half way stage of the run chase.
Babar, later named Man of the Match, in princely touch didn’t spare any bowler and with flurry of boundaries to his name was unstoppable.
At drinks, Pakistan had sped to 181-1 off 31 overs. Soon afterwards, Babar was on to his 13th ODI hundred off 103 balls.
however He was taken at the wicket, the very next delivery with 103 off 104 balls and 17 silky hits to the fence.
Babar’s exit gave some hope to South Africa, after 177 runs had been added for the second wicket.
In the 34th over, Imam tried to pull a delivery which was too high and was dismissed for 70 off 80 balls. With seven wickets still in hand, Pakistan’s target now was 81 runs off 16 overs and no alarm bells,
just as yet. Danish Aziz, the 25 year old left-handed batsman from Karachi, making his international debut, came in at number five.
Anrich Nortje send him back to claim his third wicket and only 12 runs had been scored in the last 5 overs.
Pakistan’s 200 took 36.3 overs but lost Asif Ali to an ill-advised pull shot to Nortje, whose wholehearted 10 overs
got him figures of 4-51. 61 off last 10 overs was now the target for the tourists.
Just when the momentum had shifted towards the home side, both Mohammad Rizwan (40) and Shadab Khan (33) were up for the fight
and through energetic running between the wickets added 53 runs to bring the target down to run a ball – 30 off 30.
South Africa managed to remove both and the game was set to go to the wire.