An incredible, unbeaten ton by wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Rizwan was the beaming sign that helped Pakistan protect a three-run triumph against South Africa in the first Twenty20 International (T20I) that was played at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore on Thursday.
Chasing a difficult target of 170 runs, after Rizwan’s brave knock, the Proteas openers Janneman Malan as well as Reeza Hendricks got their side off to a strong beginning. Their collaboration of 53 runs off 42 shipments was dominated by Malan that added 44 runs in that total amount at the expense of 29 shipments while Hendricks only handled 8 runs off 12 deliveries.
The intro of leg-spinner Usman Qadir nevertheless deciphered the solid foundation in quick order. Malan was the very first to leave, bowled by an excellent googly from Qadir, after racking up 44 run 29 deliveries.
Qadir after that bowled an additional best distribution that breached the defenses of batsman Jacques Snyman (2 runs off 6 shipments) to minimize South Africa to 61 runs for the loss of two arches.
All-rounder Faheem Ashraf then eliminated the hard-hitting batsman David Miller, caught behind by wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan, after scoring simply 6 run 10 shipments.
Captain Heinrich Klassen (12 run 10 shipments) middled a sphere, bowled by fast-bowler Haris Raif, directly into the hands of fielder Hussain Talat as the asking price began to climb up.
The Proteas’ chase was dealt a large strike quickly later as Hendricks, who had been solid at the various other end, ventured out of his fold just to be run-out by a diving Rizwan after the batsman had actually scored 54 run 42 shipments.
Rauf after that removed all-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo (14 off eight shipments), caught by fielder Haider Ali to decrease South Africa to 139 for the loss of 6 gates.
A late flurry at the end by all-rounders Dwaine Pretorius (15 * runs off six distributions) and also Bjorn Fortuin (17 * runs of 9 shipments) made things fascinating yet could not take the Proteas side over the line.
Usman Qadir was the choice of the bowlers for Pakistan, getting two wickets in 4 overs at the cost of 21 runs. Haris Rauf likewise grabbed 2 arches while Faheem Ashraf took one wicket for his side.
Earlier, South Africa’s captain Heinrich Klaasen won the toss and also chosen to area initially. Pakistan were off to a dreadful begin as skipper Babar Azam was run-out by rewriter Bjorn Fortuin for a duck.
Dynamic batsman Haider Ali, who was available in next, seemed in superb form as he raced to 21 run 16 distributions with the help of 3 huge 6s before being eliminated by fast-bowler Andile Phehlukwayo, caught by fielder Jacques Snyman.
All-rounder Hussain Talat then signed up with opener Mohammad Rizwan in the middle as well as the duo appeared to be laying a strong foundation for their side with mindful batting. However, a shipment from leg-spinner Tabraiz Shamsi verified deadly as the batsman was baffled by wicketkeeper Heinrich Klaasen after scoring just 15 escape 11 shipments. The decision was sent out upstairs as well as the third umpire amazingly gave it out regardless of replays revealing that the batsman’s foot was grown.
Batsmen Iftikhar Ahmed (4 run 8 deliveries), Khushdil Shah (12 off 12) and Faheem Ashraf (four off 5) departed without putting a major damage in the scoreline.
However, as the Proteas side maintained taking wickets at the other end, Pakistan’s opener Mohammad Rizwan stood tall at the various other end leading his side via every stage with the accuracy of a surgeon. The right-handed batsman started his innings meticulously yet kept pressing the score at routine intervals when it needed a boost.
The wicketkeeper-batsman remained unbeaten in the end after racking up a match-defining 104-run knock off 64 distributions with the help of 6 fours and seven 6s at a strike price of 162.5. The unbelievable knock moved Pakistan to 169 runs for the loss of six wickets at the end of their assigned overs.
Andile Phehlukwayo was the pick of the bowlers for the Proteas, picking up two wickets at the expense of 33 runs in four overs while bowlers Bjorn Fortuin, Lutho Sipamla, as well as Tabraiz Shamsi grabbed one arch each.