In the opening game of the three-match T20I series, centurion Mohammad Rizwan’s brilliant performances guided the hosts Pakistan to claim a close 3-run victory against the visitors South Africa at Lahore.
After South Africa sent the hosts to bat first, Pakistan scored 169/6 at the end of the first 20 overs. In reply, the visitors managed to score 166/6 at the end of the 20 overs.
Pakistan vs South Africa 2021, 1st T20I
2nd innings (South Africa): Janneman Malan and Reeza Hendricks’ strong start didn’t get enough support
South African openers Janneman Malan and Reeza Hendricks provided the very good start where Malan introduced firing batting in the powerplay. Especially, in the fifth over of that chasing, Malan hit four successive fours to Haris Rauf. On the first ball of the next over, Malan smashed a sixer to Shaheen Shah Afridi. South Africa scored 51/0 at the end of the powerplay.
But in the very next over, Usman Qadir provided a big breakthrough as Malan was bowled after scoring 44 runs off 29 balls. Since then, the visitors innings was slowed down. In his next over, Qadir bowled T20I debutant Jacques Snyman (2) with another good googly delivery.
Then steady Reeza Hendricks and David Miller put the 22 runs partnership for the third wicket. But Faheem Ashraf this time brought the breakthrough for the hosts by dismissing Miller for just 6 runs.
After the 32 runs partnership for the fourth wicket with Hendricks, newly-appointed T20I captain Heinrich Klaasen lost his wicket for 12 runs as Haris Rauf picked up that wicket. Meanwhile, Hendricks continued his impressive batting and completed his 50 runs in 38 balls. But in the crucial moment of the game, Mohammad Rizwan’s brilliant effort ran out Hendricks in the 18th over, who scored 54 off 42 balls. At that time, South Africa needed 36 runs in 16 balls.
In that same over, Haris Rauf took the wicket of Andile Phehlukwayo (14). The visitors needed 29 more runs in the last 12 balls.
In the last over, South Africa had to score 19 runs to win that match, where Bjorn Fortuin and Dwaine Pretorius were batting. While South Africa needed 10 runs in the final two balls, Fortuin scored 4 and 2 runs respectively but his desperate batting was not enough for the visitors. At the end of the match, Fortuin scored 17 not out off 9 balls while Pretorius scored 15 not out off 6 balls.
1st innings (Pakistan): Mohammad Rizwan’s century was the only talking point for the hosts in the first innings
In the very beginning of the match, Pakistan got a big blow as their captain Babar Azam was run-out for a golden duck on the very second delivery of the match. In the final over of the powerplay, Andile Phehlukwayo dismissed Haider Ali (21). At powerplay, Pakistan scored 45/2.
Since the powerplay, opening batsman Mohammad Rizwan controlled the game for the hosts. Hussain Talat was stumped out for 15 runs as Tabraiz Shamsi claimed that wicket. Soon after that, Rizwan completed his second consecutive T20I fifty in 35 balls.
While the wicket-keeper batsman Rizwan continuously set up some crucial partnerships with the other batsmen, all of them failed to provide strong support to the Pakistan opener. Iftikhar Ahmed (4), Khushdil Shah (12) and Faheem Ashraf (4) all lost their wickets cheaply.
Only Rizwan’s batting helped the hosts Pakistan to cross the 150 runs mark, even the 165 runs mark at the end. On the fourth ball of the final over, Rizwan smashed a sixer to Andile Phehlukwayo to complete his maiden T20 century, which he completed in 63 balls. Finally, the in-form wicket-keeper batsman scored 104 not out off 64 balls with the help of 6 fours and 7 sixes.
While Andile Phehlukwayo (2/33) got two wickets, Bjorn Fortuin (1/25), Lutho Sipamla (1/37) and Tabraiz Shamsi (1/20) all picked up one wicket each.
Brief Scores: Pakistan – 169/6 in 20 overs (Mohammad Rizwan 104*, Haider Ali 21; Andile Phehlukwayo 2/33)
South Africa – 166/6 in 20 overs (Reeza Hendricks 54, Janneman Malan 44; Usman Qadir 2/21)
Result – Pakistan won by 3 runs