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Babar Azam’s batting masterclass, despite being an eye-opener, was not enough; Babar Azam hit a majestic 90 but South Africa’s death bowling proved too lethal as they beat Pakistan by 7 runs at the Wanderers Stadium in Cape Town on Sunday, 3rd February, in a nail-biting finish.
The tempo of the game changed when Azam pulled a slower ball from Beuran Hendricks to deep midwicket after hitting 13 fours and a six in a 58-ball inning.
South Africa handed international debuts to opener Janneman Malan and 20-year-old Lutho Sipamla. Pakistan won the toss and chose to field at a ground famous for exciting chases. Malan (33 off 31 balls) and Reeza Hendricks (28 off 27 balls) got the South African “Proteas” off to a rock solid beginning with a 58 run partnership although there were a number of dot balls within their Powerplay.
Read more: Azam’s 90 in vain as Pakistan lose T20 series winning streak
Once the openers were knocked out, Rassie van der Dussen resumed his impressive beginning to an international career with a nicely construed 45 (27 balls). Be that as it may, it was stand-in captain David Miller who actually won the game, fending off Pakistan’s impressive attack batting his way to 65 not out off of a mere 29 balls, his late bloom at the back end assisted South Africa to a competitive total of 188-3 in their 20 overs.
South Africa handed international debuts to opener Janneman Malan and 20-year-old Lutho Sipamla.
Miller, captaining South Africa for the first time because Faf du Plessis was rested for the last two matches of the series, hit five sixes and four fours in an explosive inning, which followed a similarly aggressive 45 off 27 balls by Rassie van der Dussen, who hit four sixes. In their reply, Pakistan were on the front foot from the first over and were flying by the end of the Powerplay with the score at 70-1 after 6 overs.
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Pakistan scored rapidly at the start of their innings, with Azam hitting the first three balls off Beuran Hendricks for four. It was 70 for one at the end of the six-over power play — 26 runs ahead of South Africa´s total at the same stage. Azam and Hussain Talat (59) put on 102 off 75 balls for the second wicket. The tempo of the game changed when Azam pulled a slower ball from Beuran Hendricks to deep midwicket after hitting 13 fours and a six in a 58-ball inning.
Although neither of the two players scored a wicket, Miller praised left-arm spinner Tabraiz Shamsi and new fast bowler Lutho Sipamla for economical bowling in the middle overs before the late-innings collapse. Just 10 shy of a deserved century, Beuran Hendricks got his second wicket dismissing Azam for 90 off 58 balls, Pakistan were 147-2 needing 42 from 23 balls.