Visitors go 1-0 up in four-match series with four-wicket win
Wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Rizwan’s outstanding knock was enough for Pakistan to secure a nail-biting four-wicket win against South Africa in the first T20I of the four-match series in Johannesburg on Saturday.
While chasing a mammoth total of 189, the Men-in-Green had a solid beginning and reached the halfway stage at the score of 86-2.
But three quick wickets of Mohammad Hafeez, Haider Ali and Mohammad Nawaz put the team on the backfoot.
However, some late blitz from Rizwan along with all-rounder Faheem Ashraf against a very inexperienced bowling lineup was enough to take the team home with just a ball to spare.
Rizwan finished the match with the top score of 74 not out off just 50 balls with the help of nine fours and two sixes. He was also named the Player-of-the-Match.
For South Africa, left-arm pacer Beuran Hendricks finished the innings as the most successful bowler as he claimed three wickets.
Earlier, after deciding to bat first, Proteas managed to post a competitive total of 188-6 in their allotted 20 overs.
Despite a brisk start, South Africa lost their way a little bit. But 61 and 62 runs partnership for the third and fourth wicket put the home team on their way to post a total in excess of 200.
Pakistan fast-bowlers made a grand comeback in the final five overs where they gave away just 37 runs and claimed three wickets.
Opener Aiden Markram finished the innings with the top score of 51 off 32 balls with the help of eight fours and one six.
He was well-supported by captain Heinrich Klaasen who scored 50 off 28 balls with the help of two fours and four sixes.
For the visitors, left-arm spinner Mohammad Nawaz and pacer Hasan Ali were the pick of the bowlers as they claimed two wickets each and gave away just 21 and 28 runs respectively.
So that’s it from us today. We will join you again on Monday for the second T20I.
And that’s it. Pakistan have secured a rather uncomfortable win. Great performance from the visitors.
OUT! Big wicket for the home and a big moment in the match. Faheem departs after scoring 30 off 14.
PAK 180-6 (19.2 overs)
Another good one for the visitors. 11 came off it.
PAK 178-5 (19 overs)
Another great over for Pakistan where 16 runs were scored.
The visitors now need 22 off the last two overs.
PAK 167-5 (18 overs)
That’s a good one for the visitors. 14 runs came off that over.
Pakistan need 38 off 18 balls.
PAK 151-5 (17 overs)
Senior sports journalist is hoping for some fireworks from set Mohammad Rizwan.
Last few balls of Rizwan isn't a approach Pakistan needed— Abdul Ghaffar (@GhaffarDawnNews) April 10, 2021
He should go for all attack now
OUT! Another one bites the dust. Nawaz went without scoring. Hendricks gets two in two.
PAK 132-5 (15.2 overs)
OUT! Hendricks removes dangerous Haider Ali, who departs after scoring 14 off just eight.
PAK 132-4 (15.1 overs)
OUT! Another big one for South Africa as Shamsi removes dangerous Mohammad Hafeez.
PAK 110-3 (13.1 overs)
And with that single, wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Rizwan completed his half-century off 34 balls.
PAK 102-2 (11.4 overs)
OUT! South Africa gets a big one as in-form Fakhar Zaman departs after scoring 27.
PAK 86-2 (10 overs)
In our recent poll on Twitter, more than 86% of our respondents believe that Pakistan will be able to chase down this mammoth total.
A good powerplay for the home team where they largely managed to contain Pakistan batsmen from scoring quickly.
PAK 48-1 (6 overs)
Do you think Mazhar Arshad has a point?
Early days but Babar Azam's three scores while opening with Rizwan in T20Is are 0, 5 and 14. When he opens with Fakhar, he averages 57.41 and strikes at 134.80. #RSAvPak— Mazher Arshad (@MazherArshad) April 10, 2021
OUT! A big wicket for the home team as left-arm pacer Hendricks get the prized wicket of Pakistan captain Babar Azam.
PAK 41-1 (4.5 overs)
That’s a big over for Pakistan. 20 came it.
PAK 37-0 (4 overs)
Rather a cautious start from the visitors.
PAK (2 overs)
To our surprise, Pakistan are starting with Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam despite chasing a mammoth total of 189.
We are back with the second phase of the first T20I.
We will take a short break. Do join us for the second-half soon.
It was an exciting first-half where the home team started strongly but lost their way a little in the final stage of the innings. However, they still managed to post a competitive total.
And that’s a good end to the innings for the home team.
SA 188-6 (20 overs)
OUT! Another one bites the dust. George Linde departs after scoring six.
SA 171-6 (18.3 overs)
OUT! Another big one for Pakistan. This time Shaheen Shah Afridi managed to remove Pite van Biljon, who went back to the pavilion after scoring 34 off 24 balls.
SA 168-5 (17.5 overs)
OUT! Hasan Ali gets a big one as he removes South Africa captain Klassen, who went back to the pavilion after scoring 50.
SA 159-4 (16.2 overs)
With that double, South Africa’s captain has completed a brilliant half-century off just 24 balls.
SA 151-3 (15 overs)
And with that six, it’s a 50-run partnership of just 27 balls between Klassen and Van Biljon.
Brilliant batting from the duo.
OUT! Another big one for Nawaz as he removes dangerous Markram.
SA 98-3 (10.1 overs)
Fifty-up for Aiden Markram. A brilliant knock from the right-hander.
SA 48-2 (6 overs)
That’s a decent end to the powerplay for the home team.
OUT! Another big one for the visitors as Hasan Ali removes young Lubbe.
SA 36-2 (4.4 overs)
OUT! Nawaz gets a big one as he dismisses in-form Malan.
SA 31-1 (4 overs)
Great start for the home team.
SA 28-0 (3 overs)
Mohammad Hafeez becomes the second Pakistan player to play 100 T20Is. A great achievement for the veteran all-rounder.
Aiden Markram, Janneman Malan, Heinrich Klaasen (captain), Pite van Biljon, Wihan Lubbe, George Linde, Andile Phehlukwayo, Sisanda Magala, Beuran Hendricks, Lizaad Williams, Tabraiz Shamsi.
Mohammad Rizwan, Babar Azam (captain), Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Hafeez, Haider Ali, Mohammad Nawaz, Faheem Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Usman Qadir, Haris Rauf
TOSS: The news from the centre is that South Africa have won the toss and elected to bat first.
The Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg will be hosting the first two matches of the series whereas the last two games will be played in Centurion.
On the other hand, Proteas will be eager to bounce back from a rare series defeat against an Asian team on their home soil.
The Men-in-Green are coming in the series high-on-confidence after securing an impressive 2-1 win in the recently concluded three-match T20I series.
Welcome to the live blog for the first T20I between South Africa and Pakistan.