South Africa in Pakistan, 3 T20I Series, 2021
Venue: Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore
Date & Time: 11 February 2021
RR: 8.3 | Pakistan beat South Africa by 3 runs
Right. That ends a close-looking contest. Pakistan were favourites but the Proteas simply messed up a simple run chase from a dominant position. They have got a day to reflect on how to avoid a series loss and come back with renewed vigour for the second game. You too, take some rest now and come back refreshed for the second T20I on Saturday, 13th February, 2021. The game begins at 6 pm local (1300 GMT). But you can also catch the action from the second Bangladesh-West Indies Test match in the meanwhile. ADIOS! TAKE CARE!
Victorious Pakistan skipper, Babar Azam does not feel they are lucky to get this win. Plainly says that his bowlers won him the game. Feels that poor batting in the middle overs and poor bowling at the start put them under pressure but states that Usman Qadir got them back into the game. Reckons that there was some grip for the spinners in both innings but also lauds the way his seamers came back in the last 4 overs. On the sluggish start, Babar reckons that the ball was not coming onto the bat, hence, they were aiming to get partnerships. But then, also admits that the players got carried away with the format and went for playing strokes, which resulted in the fall of wickets. Praises Rizwan for his outstanding knock. Affirms that this win boosts their confidence but does not feel that there was dew around. Feels that it was hazy and visibility was an issue but stresses that the players did not complain and the fielding was excellent.
MOHMMAD RIZWAN HAS BEEN NAMED THE PLAYER OF THE MATCH. On carrying his form from the second Test, Rizwan says that every match is important, irrespective of the format. Hence he looks to play with full heart and effort in every game. Admits that Pakistan got off to a poor start and struggled in the first half. Details that he kept asking for plans from the dugout and accordingly went with the same. On him hitting 7 sixes in this game, Rizwan smiles and says that he has heard that he does not hit many sixes but if truth be told, he tries his best to play according to the situation of the game.
South African skipper, Heinrich Klaasen, feels disappointed with the result, stressing that batting in the last 4 overs let them down. On trial by spin, Klaasen says that it doesn't help if someone in the opposition bowls 3 overs for 4 runs and picks up 2 wickets, while chasing 170. But admits that they have to find a way to do something about it. On the dew, Heinrich says that on the outside it looks okay but not so, while actually bowling or fielding.
A few PCB 2020 awards to be given. Babar Azam gets the Spirit of Cricket award. Pakistan had visited the Bangladesh dressing room during their match last year. Naseem Shah gets the Emerging Cricketer of the year award for 2020. Still get the jitters when I remember his Test hat-trick against Bangladesh.
That was not the presentation. It is yet to come. Please stay tuned...
Usman Qadir is up for a chat. The leggie says that he just focused on bowling the dot balls and put pressure on the batsmen. Further says that there was dew and he had practiced for that as they managed to arrest the run-rate. On details about the advice from Rizwan, Usman mentions that the keeper told him to just flight the ball and not push it through and that is what he did.
Earlier in the evening, Pakistan began slowly but then attacked towards the end, to finish on a competitive 169. Mohammad Rizwan batted till the end, scoring an unbeaten 104, but if truth be told, his strike rate actually pulled the team down. But in the end, it turned out to be enough.
Pakistan should have lost but belief got them the win. Usman Qadir was the one who got the turnaround. His 4-0-21-2 stifled the Saffas, as they simply could not get him away. Mohammad Nawaz was excellent upfront as well, with similar figures but wicketless. The seamers got a tonk but when it mattered in the end, the trio of Afridi, Rauf and Ashraf nailed their yorkers perfectly.
South Africa will be crestfallen. They can take the credit of fighting hard, but 170, with dew around, was chaseable. The openers gave a good start, adding 53 under 7 overs but the middle order fell apart. They were inexperienced but Miller and Klaasen are not exactly in that category, are they? 56 was needed in the last 5 overs, with 7 wickets in hand and they surely could have done it. Should have done it. But they just could not find a way of scoring through those middle overs and choked, while at the end, they kept losing wickets.
Excellent work from Pakistan. Who says teams cannot defend with dew? The Asian giants have busted that myth. Sensational bowling display, with all that dew but to be honest, they had a pretty inexperienced batting lineup in front of them.
Babar is right into the ears of Faheem. He will be okay with a four but by no means a six. And of course, no extra balls. Square leg, mid on, mid-wicket, long on, long off and extra cover, at the fence.
Faheem Ashraf to bowl the final over. 2-0-22-1 so far. He has got 18 to defend.
The physio is out in the middle now. While taking the second, Fortuin slipped and seems to have twisted his ankle.
Bjorn Fortuin walks in next.
Dwaine Pretorious walks in now.
Gone? Is it? A run out appeal has been referred upstairs. Gone big time, is Hendricks.
Rizwan and Babar in a chat. Who will bowl the 18th? 3 overs left. Rauf and Afridi have 1, while Ashraf has 2. Babar goes with Rauf. 3-0-36-1 so far.
Afridi will be looking to nail those yorkers.
So Klaasen is surviving some close calls.
That was a close call for Klaasen.
Who comes out to bat now? Heinrich Klaasen comes out to bat now. Can the skipper inspire South Africa to a win?
Some sawdust being sprinkled near the bowler's run up. Dew clearing playing its part here.
Faheem Ashraf comes onto bowl now.
Another break and once again the groundsmen are out with the ropes. Lot of dew on the ground. South Africa are 66/2 at the halfway stage and they need another 104 off 60 balls. Pakistan are bowling rightly with their spinners. The slowness of the wicket is clearly troubling Saffas. Miller out there could be the deciding factor in this game. An interesting second half of the second innings coming up after this short drinks and dew break.
Who comes out to bat now? David Miller to bat now. Also, Mohammad Nawaz comes on. 2-0-7-0 from him so far.
Khushdil Shah is on now.
Who comes out to bat now? Jacques Snyman is the new man in.
Usman Qadir is into the attack now.
Change of ends for Haris Rauf. 1-0-10-0 so far.
Shaheen Afridi to bowl now.
Pace from the other end. Haris Rauf it is.
A halt in play. Aleem Dar is having some problem with his vision as his spectacles are steaming up.
LBW review by Pakistan! Just in the nick of time by Pakistan. Outside edge! Review lost.