Batsman scored 122 as Pakistan registered nine-wicket win
A masterclass from Babar Azam proved to be the difference on the night as Pakistan registered a thumping win in the third T20I of the four-match series against South Africa at Centurion on Wednesday.
While chasing a mammoth total of 204 to take a 2-1 lead in the series, the right-hander played a remarkable knock of 122 off 59 balls with the help of 15 fours and four sixes.
He was well-supported by wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Rizwan who scored 73 not out off 47 balls with the help of five fours and two sixes.
The duo also put on the highest partnership for Pakistan in T20Is of 197 off just 107 balls.
For scoring his maiden century in the T20Is, Babar was also named the Player-of-the-Match.
Earlier, after being asked to bat first, South Africa managed to post a competitive total of 203 for the loss of five wickets in their allotted 20 overs.
The star of the show was opening batsman Aiden Markram who scored 63 off just 31 balls with the help of six fours and four sixes.
He was well-supported by his opening partner Janneman Malan who scored 55 off 40 balls with the help of five fours and two sixes.
For Pakistan, left-arm spinner Mohammad Nawaz was the pick of the bowler as he claimed two wickets and gave away 38 runs in his four overs.
The final fixture of the series will be played at the same venue on Friday.
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So that’s it. A comfortable win for the visitors courtesy a sublime century from Babar Azam who showcased once again why he is amongst the very best in the world.
FOUR and it’s a 100 for Babar Azam. What a knock from the right-hander.
Pakistan cruising in this run-chase.
PAK 171-0 (15 overs)
At the halfway stage, Pakistan are nicely placed to chase down the target of 204.
PAK 101-0 (10 overs)
FOUR and that’s a brilliant half-century from Babar Azam.
PAK 85-0 (8.1 overs)
Just like South Africa, Pakistan also have a great start to their innings.
PAK 64-0 (6 overs)
We will join you soon for the second innings.
That’s a great finish for the home team as they set a mammoth total for Pakistan in the third T20I.
OUT! Hasan Ali gets the prized scalp of South Africa captain Klaasen, who departs after scoring 15.
SA 164-4 (16.4 overs)
OUT! Nawaz gets another big one as set Malan departs after scoring 55 off 40 balls.
SA 143-3 (14.1 overs)
OUT! Faheem Ashraf gets a big one as he removes Linde who departs after scoring 22.
SA 141-2 (13.2 overs)
OUT! Finally, a wicket for Pakistan as Nawaz dismisses dangerous Aiden Markram, who departs after scoring a brilliant 63 off 31.
SA 108-1 (10.4 overs)
At the half-way stage, South Africa are clearly on top.
SA 100-0 (10 overs)
Despite scoring just 24 in the first-half of the powerplay, Proteas have recovered well and are now in a strong position.
SA 65-0 (6 overs)
Despite 14 runs coming from the third over, it remains a cautious start by the home team.
SA 24-0 (3 overs)
Earlier, some great news for Pakistan captain Babar Azam who is now the number one-ranked batsman in the 50-over format.
Read the full story here:
The home team have really positive news as star batsman Rassie van der Dussen is now fit to take part in the contest and he replaced Wihan Lubbe.
On the other hand, Pakistan have made three changes with opening batsman Fakhar Zaman, pacer Haris Rauf and middle-order batsman Asif Ali replaced Sharjeel Khan, Mohammad Hasnain and Usman Qadir.
Aiden Makram, Janneman Malan, Rassie van der Dussen, Heinrich Klaasen (captain / wicketkeeper), Pite van Biljon, George Linde, Andile Phehlukwayo, Sisanda Magala, Beuran Hendricks, Lizaad Williams, Tabraiz Shamsi
Mohammad Rizwan (wicketkeeper), Babar Azam (captain), 3 Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Hafeez, Haider Ali, Asif Ali, Mohammad Nawaz, Faheem Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf
TOSS: The news from the centre is that Pakistan captain Babar Azam has won the toss and elected to field first.
The series is nicely poised at 1-1 as the visitors won the opening fixture in a nail-biting contest whereas the home team made a grand comeback in the second fixture by winning with a six-wicket margin.
Welcome to the live blog for the third T20I between Pakistan and South Africa.