Fakhar Zaman and Faheem Ashraf starred as Pakistan won the series 3-1 against South Africa. This match turned out to be closer than expected. Pakistan almost made a meal of what was supposed to be a smooth run chase. In the end, they were taken over the line by Mohammad Nawaz who batted sensibly after a middle-order collapse.
The Proteas got off to a shaky start losing Aiden Markram early. Since then, Janneman Malan along with Rassie Van der Dussen added 57 to bail out South Africa and give the platform for the batters to come and excel. After Malan fell it was the Van der Dussen show. He hammered the bowlers all around the park and scored 52 of 36 balls. When he was at the crease it looked like South Africa might make 190. After he fell it started a collapse. The South African middle order was troubled by Faheem Ashraf and Hasan Ali – both picking 3 wickets each. South Africa really seemed to have lost the plot at the halfway stage.
Pakistan win the series 3-1
Pakistan made an easy run chase look extremely difficult. They started off poorly with Mohammad Rizwan scoring his second duck of the series. The innings was then stabilized by Fakhar Zaman and Babar Azam chipping in with scores of 60 and 24 respectively. These two stitched together a partnership and turned the tables in Pakistan’s favour. The Men in Greens were cruising at one stage when the score read 92-1. Then they too suffered a collapse like South Africa. Their middle order which had not been tested much during this series, courtesy – Babar Azam, failed to get going at all. They ended up losing 6 wickets for just 37 runs.
Suddenly the match took an interesting turn and it headed for a nail-biter. After the collapse, Mohammad Nawaz played a sensible knock and turned things back in the visitor’s favour. In the last over 6 runs were needed. Mohammad Nawaz and Hasan Ali kept taking singles and doubles before Mohammad Nawaz hit the second last ball for a six to not only seal the game but also the series.
Faheem Ashraf was the player of the match. He was well deserving. He bowled beautifully today and was the main reason why South Africa had a middle-order collapse. Ashraf ended with figures 4-0-17-3. Pakistan skipper Babar Azam was the player of the series. He batted so well throughout the series. He scored a total of 210 runs in this four-match series including a century in the second T20I.
Pakistan will next be seen playing Zimbabwe starting on 21st April they play 3 T20I’s and two Tests.