On Friday, Pakistan edged past South Africa in a close encounter at the SuperSport Park Stadium in Centurion and won by three wickets.
Batting first, South Africa lost their opener Aiden Markram within 16 runs on the board. In came Russie van der Dussen who walked shoulder to shoulder with Janneman Malan to put up a partnership of 57 runs at a run rate of around 9.
Faheem Ashraf, the right-arm pacer, provided the much-needed breakthroughs by taking wickets in quick succession. The hosts were eventually bundled out for 144 in 19.3 overs.
In response, the Pakistan opener Mohammad Rizwan was stumped for a knot. Still, the partnership of the two Pakistani star batsmen, Fakhar Zaman (60) and Bazar Azam (24), looked to guarantee a smooth sail for the visitors. The two new dependables of the visitors’ side shared a stand of 91 runs for the second wicket and scored around a run rate of 10 in the first nine overs.
However, the one-sided match suddenly looked poised and could have gone either way when Pakistan gave away their wickets for trifles and were six down in the next five overs. This resulted in additional pressure on the Pakistani batsmen as they now had to score run-a-ball 29 to surpass South Africa’s target.
The match came as close as Pakistan needing 16 runs off the last two overs with two lower-order batsmen Faheem Ashraf and Mohammed Nawaz, at the crease.
The shortest format of the game is all about surprises. The tides turned again when the Proteas pacer Sisanda Magala took the wicket of Ashraf (7) and also bowled four consecutive dot balls. Now, the target seemed improbable for Pakistan as they had to make 16 runs off eight balls.
The last over became the talk of the town when Magala, after putting pressure on the batsmen, bowled three consecutive no-balls and was also smashed for a six by Nawaz. Thus, Magala, who could have been the South-African hero, eventually gave away the game by conceding ten runs.
Now, the match was an easy glide for Pakistan as they crossed the finish line with the lower-order heroics of Nawaz, who smoked the ball for another six in the final over.
Here is how Twitter reacted:
— Shoaib Akhtar (@shoaib100mph) April 16, 2021
— Wahab Riaz (@WahabViki) April 16, 2021
Congratulations on a 2-1 win in ODI series and 3-1 win in T20I series. Good tour of SA for Pak. Good finish chief @mnawaz94, great batting by @FakharZamanLive. All set up by the bowlers, well bowled @iFaheemAshraf, @RealHa55an, @HarisRauf14, @iShaheenAfridi. #PakistanZindabad pic.twitter.com/82Eli04Hef
— Shadab Khan (@76Shadabkhan) April 16, 2021
— JahanZaib (@JahanZaibb_) April 16, 2021
— Mir Mansoor (@Miraxu99) April 16, 2021
— Tahreem🌸 (@tweetsbytahreem) April 16, 2021
— Raja Musharraf Magray (@Mush_hun) April 16, 2021
— Ammar Hashmi (@itsAmmarHashmi) April 16, 2021
— Rjp Umair Rana🇵🇰 (@meet_rjp) April 16, 2021
Pakistan made it by a whisper. Very ordinary performance by the middle order. Nawaz made it possible. A memorable series indeed by winning both one day & T20 series. #SAvsPAK
— Shehryar Afridi (@ShehryarAfridi1) April 16, 2021
— Osman Qureshi 🇵🇰 ᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠ (@QureshiSayss_) April 16, 2021
— Mahd Rajput 🇵🇰 (Zabi 🎂) (@__mahd__rajput) April 16, 2021
— SYED 🇵🇰 (@syedMHRkhan) April 16, 2021
— Umairi (@Umairi_k) April 16, 2021
Congratulations Pakistan 🇵🇰
— BeautifulPakistan🇵🇰🇵🇰 (@LandofPakistan) April 16, 2021