Pakistan and South Africa faced each other again today in Johanessburg, and again the batting line-up of Pakistan failed to perform, resulting in a win for Proteas, and losing the T20 series as well. After losing both the test and ODI, T20 was considered to be a format where Pakistan could give Proteas a tough time. But their winning streak of 11 came to an end tonight.
South Africa’s Batting
Pakistan invited South Africa to bat first after winning the toss. Pakistan made one change to the side bringing in the young 18 year old Shaheen Shah Afridi in place of all-rounder Faheem Ashraf while South Africa brought in 2 debutants with Janneman Malan replacing the South African skipper FAF DU Plessis and Lutho Sipamla replacing Gihahn Cloete.
In a must-win game to keep the T20 series alive, Shoaib Malik highlighted weather as one of the main factors for his side to bowl first.
South Africa went off to a steady start, not losing any wickets for the first 8 overs before Imad Wasim bowled a beauty to get Malan stumped for a well made 31 balls 33 runs on debut. Reeza Hendricks looked good for his 28 before he ran out courtesy Shadab Khan’s brilliance in the field.
Imad Wasim bowled a beautiful spell finishing his quota of 4 overs with an economy rate of only 2.25 giving away only 9 runs including a special maiden over. Van der Dussen than took over and hit some brilliant boundaries of Shadab and the rest of the Pakistani Fast Bowlers before falling in the 17th over to Shaheen Shah Afridi.
The match was then stopped due to rain for some time and when it resumed there was absolute carnage by the stand-in South African skipper David Miller who smashed the fastest fifty by a South African against Pakistan in a T20 in just 25 balls. He took Usman Shinwari to the cleaners and managed to score 65* off 29 balls.
Usman Shinwari had the worst ever outing in T20 cricket for a Pakistani Bowler giving away 63 runs in 4 overs at an economy of 15.75 .
Brilliance from David Miller took his side to 188 setting up 189 for Pakistan to chase at a Required Rate of 9.4 runs per over.
Pakistan went off to a flyer thanks to Babar Azam who smashed Hendricks for 3 boundaries of first 3 balls of the innings setting up the ton. Fakhar Zaman, the other opener once again had a decent start but failed to capitalize falling for just 14 off 9 balls to BE Hendricks in the 4th over.
Babar Azam continued his brilliant form in T20 cricket smashing the South African fast bowlers to all parts of the ground and formed a formidable partnership with Hussain Talat of 102 runs in 67 balls. Babar scored an outstanding 90 off 58 balls before he was caught by Junior Dala off BE Hendricks bowling. The dismissal turned the match on its head and a nail-biting finish was inevitable.
Babar Azam hit 3 consecutive boundaries on 3 balls thrice in the innings which is some feat.
All eyes were on the big hitter Asif Ali who than came on to bat with his big-hitting reputation but failed to impress once again as he perished early in his innings for just 2 runs.
Hussain Talat, made his maiden T20 international fifty when it mattered the most before he was bowled by Chris Morris on 51 off 41 balls. The match was in the hands of Imad Wasim and the skipper Shoaib Malik who was left stranded on the other end till the end of the 19th over. Imad came in with a stiff task in hand, he picked up the slower ball by Morris beautifully and dispatched it over mid off for 4 before he was cleaned by Morris once again leaving 15 runs off the last Andele Phehlukwayo’s over.
The whole match came down to the skipper and how he is going to handle it now. This time needing 15 in the final over, he smashed the first ball of the over straight back for 4, which meant Pakistan needed 11 off 5 balls.
The skipper once again failed to take the team over the line in the final over as he was caught on the deep square leg boundary by Van der Dussen. Phehlukwayo followed it up by cleaning up Hassan Ali and with that South African clinched the T20 series.
As it stands, it turned out to be a horror tour for Pakistan being clean swept in all formats on the tour.
TURNING POINT OF THE GAME :
Babar Azam who looked well on course to win the game for Pakistan with ease, fell in the 17th over to Hendricks.
Pakistan, after performing poorly and losing in all the 3 formats of the game, has a lot to do before the World Cup arrives. One thing is for sure, all the Pakistani fans tonight are going to question their team and whether Let’s see how the green shirts are going to coup with the situation now.
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Pic Credits: Twitter