Pakistan inflicted further misery on the Proteas with a narrow three-wicket victory in the final T20I at SuperSport Park on Friday, wrapping up a 3-1 series win.
Needing a win to draw the series, the South Africans were again outclassed by a determined Pakistan outfit, who proved more dominant in both the bowling and batting departments.
It was another close encounter in the end, however, with Pakistan again squeezing past the Proteas in the final over.
Wiaan Mulder was handed his T20I debut, while Bjorn Fortuin was added to the team in place of Pite van Biljon and Beuran Hendricks.
Once again Pakistan captain Babar Azam won the toss and decided to field first, given the visitors’ ability to chase successfully in South Africa.
With the Proteas team loaded with bowlers, the batting unit struggled against the Pakistan attack that saw the South Africans dismissed for 144.
Aiden Markram could only manage 11, opening partner Janneman Malan added 32 and Rassie van der Dussen top-scored with 52 as the only three batsmen to surpass double figures.
Hasan Ali and Faheem Ashraf were accurate with the ball with both bowlers claiming three wickets each, setting Pakistan a target of 145 for victory.
Fortuin, though, made a positive start with the ball for the hosts, dismissing Mohammad Rizwan in the first over for the duck after he was stumped by Heinrich Klaasen.
Azam and Fakhar Zaman consolidated the innings and patiently converted their scoring opportunities with a 92-run partnership. The stand swung the momentum firmly in Pakistan’s favour despite the wicket of Zaman, who fell to Lizaad Williams for a well-played 60.
Williams struck again shortly after with the big scalp of Azam after the right-hander hit one straight to Tabraiz Shamsi at deep third man.
The Proteas bowlers got a sniff and began to fight back with a couple of quick wickets that suddenly changed the whole complexity of the chase.
Haider Ali, Mohammad Hafeez, Asif Ali and Faheem Ashraf all fell cheaply with Shamsi, Andile Phehlukwayo and Sisanda Magala making important breakthroughs.
The wickets saw Pakistan slip behind in their required run rate that left them with 16 to get from the final two overs. Magala, though, unfortunately bowled back-to-back no-balls before being hit for a big six that gave Pakistan a lifeline again.
With six runs required from the final six deliveries, Lizaad Williams tried valiantly to keep the pressure on but a powerful blow by Mohammad Nawaz from the penultimate ball cleared the boundary to get Pakistan over the line.
You may also like