South Africa end Pakistan’s record run of T20 series victories
Pakistan’s world-record run of 11 straight Twenty20 series victories came to an end on Sunday as South Africa won by seven runs at the Wanderers.
South Africa defended its total of 188-3 after two thrilling final overs, when four Pakistan wickets fell and the tourists ended on 181-7.
It gave South Africa a winning 2-0 lead in the three-match series and saw Pakistan slip to defeat in a bilateral T20 series for the first time in three years.
Chasing 188, 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.
“We had the game but we couldn’t finish it,” said Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik.
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 innings.
“We didn’t start too well with the ball,” said Miller, who was named man of the match. “We were too short and too wide but the bowlers pulled it back.”
Although neither took 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.
Batting first, stand-in captain David Miller hit an explosive half-century as South Africa made a strong finish to their innings. Miller slammed 65 not out off 29 balls to enable South Africa to post 188 for three in their 20 overs.
Captaining South Africa for the first time because Faf du Plessis was rested for the last two matches of the series, Miller went on the rampage in the closing overs after South Africa made a relatively sedate start on an unusually slow, dry Wanderers pitch.
Miller hit five sixes and four fours as South Africa scored 127 runs in the last ten overs of an innings which was interrupted for half an hour by a rain shower. The break came with South Africa on 140 for three after 17.1 overs and they added 48 runs off the remaining 17 balls of the innings.
New cap Janneman Malan and Reeza Hendricks put on 58 for the first wicket but used up 53 balls. Left-arm spinner Imad Wasim, who opened the bowling, took one for nine in four overs. He bowled a maiden to Malan and had the newcomer stumped after an otherwise promising innings of 33 off 31 balls.
Rassie van der Dussen hit four sixes in a quickfire innings of 45 off 27 balls to lift the scoring rate before Miller finished the innings with some ferocious hitting.
Left-arm fast bowler Usman Shinwari, whose first two balls were hit for six by Malan, conceded 63 runs off his four overs.
Earlier in the day, Pakistan won the toss and chose to field first in the second T20 International match.
Shaheen Afridi came in place of Faheem Ashraf for Pakistan, while Lutho Sipamla and Janneman Malan debuted for South Africa.
Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik said the possibility of rain had influenced his decision to field first despite having failed by six runs in a chase in the opening match in Cape Town on Friday.
South African skipper Faf du Plessis has been rested for the last two T20 matches with David Miller leading the side in his place.
“It will be nice to put a score on the board and put them under pressure,” said David Miller.
South Africa: Janneman Malan, Reeza Hendricks, Rassie van der Dussen, David Miller(c), Heinrich Klaasen(wk), Andile Phehlukwayo, Chris Morris, Lutho Sipamla, Beuran Hendricks, Junior Dala, Tabraiz Shamsi
Pakistan: Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam, Hussain Talat, Shoaib Malik(c), Asif Ali, Mohammad Rizwan(wk), Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Afridi, Usman Shinwari