Pakistan retained their number 1 spot in T20 rankings with a win at Centurion in the 3rd t20 despite the Pak vs SA T20 series. All 3 matches in the series have gone down to the wire and it has been a very entertaining series for the fans.
South Africa invites Pakistan to bat first
On a ground where the ball flies off to the boundary, David Miller invited Pakistan to bat first because he thought it would be difficult to defend a target at Centurion. Pakistan made two changes to the side bringing in Muhammad Amir and Faheem Ashraf to the side again.
The green shirts started off well, with in-form Babar Azam smashing Hendricks and Junior Dala to all parts of the ground scoring a quickfire 23. Fakhar Zaman once again failed to impress and ended a disappointing tournament with an ordinary 17. The experiment of promoting Muhammad Rizwan up the order didn’t benefit much either.
Shoaib Malik, the skipper was once again run out in a mix up with Hussain Talat at a point when Pakistan looked to struggle achieving a target of even 150. But thanks to Imad Wasim & Asif Ali for their cameos that took them closer to a decent score.
Shadab Khan who came into bat at number 10 smashed Andley Phehlukwayo and scored 22 of just 8 deliveries. BE Hendricks got a career-best 4/14 in his 4 overs thanks to some disciplined line & length bowling.
In the end, Pakistan managed to scramble to a competitive total of 168 which was a par score at this venue.
SOUTH AFRICA’S RESPONSE
Pakistan needed early wickets to be in the match and that is exactly what Shaheen Shah Afridi has provided on this tour. He picked up the dangerous wicket of Reeza Hendricks in the 2nd over for just 5, setting up the tone for the rest of the bowlers. Imad Waseem continued his good patch in the t20 series by bowling economical spells and also got the prize scalp of Malan.
Van Der Dussen played a fine knock before he perished for 41 off 35 balls to Faheem Ashraf. Muhammad Amir also finally had a good outing as well, picking up wickets of Klaasen, Hendricks & Dala cheaply.
Chris Morris resisted for some time but that wasn’t enough for the cause of the team as wickets kept on falling at the other end. Shadab Khan picked up a couple of wickets too including the wicket of the South African stand-in skipper David Miller.
Muhammad Amir finished with excellent figures of 3/27.
In the end, The Proteas failed to chase the target and Pakistan won the match by 27 runs.
Although Pakistan’s tour to South Africa overall was a disappointing one, the white ball games were really hard-fought and still good to watch. The t20 team looks well-settled but there are some areas that they’ll look to improve for the ODIs in order to prepare for the upcoming Cricket World Cup 2019.
After this, Pakistani players will take part in the Pakistan Super League, and then will play against Australia.
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Pic Credits: Business Recorder