CENTURION: Shadab Khan impressed with bat and ball as Pakistan won by 27 runs at Centurion on Wednesday night, for the Proteas to win the series 2-1.
It might not have been the performance they were hoping for, but the Proteas can leave this series with their heads held high, after beating the world No 1 side with what was largely a makeshift side. It was certainly one for David Miller to remember. After becoming the first man in T20 international history to win Man of the Match for his fielding performance in the first match, Miller, who captained the last two matches, backed that up with the bat in the second encounter. Pakistan skipper Shoaib Malik lost the toss but admitted he was happy to bat first, and at first it showed as Babar Azam got off to a rollicking start. The world’s No 1 T20 batsman Babar smashed Junior Dala for three boundaries as they raced to 18-0 off the first two overs. But his momentum got the better of him as he chipped one to cover to fall for an 11-ball 23.
Lutho Sipamla bowled superbly in the first match, but he failed to find his line in the first over as Fakhar Zaman took a liking and hit 17 off him. Zaman would eventually fall for Hendricks’ first wicket, but Pakistan found some more stability through Shoaib and Mohammad Rizwan.
What followed was a pattern that has dogged Pakistan’s series, as a middle-order collapse put the Proteas in control. Sipamla (1-26) picked up his first international wicket, before Shoaib was forced to walk after a mix up in the middle for 18. There were some handy contributions from Imad Wasim (19) and Asif Ali (25), but Hendricks then blew the lower order away with three wickets in the space of four balls, to eventually finish with career-best figures of 4-14.
Shadab Khan however had other ideas, and in hindsight it might well have been his knock that separated the sides. He smashed three sixes off the final Andile Phehlukwayo (1-41) over to drag his side to 168-9. The response with the bat was poor from the Proteas. While Pakistan were on 46-1 after their first overs, the Proteas were on 20-2 as Janneman Malan (2) and Reeza Hendricks (5) fell cheaply. The Proteas took the risk of picking a long tail for this match, and that risk was exposed heavily. While Rassie van der Dussen did his best to put up a fight, the same can’t be said for Heinrich Klaasen, who capped off a quiet series by skying one for two.
Shadab (2-34) backed up his batting display with the ball, as he removed Miller and Phehlukwayo for 13 and 10 respectively, leaving Morris with it all to do.
Morris put up a bit of a fight with 55 off 29, but he simply didn’t have enough quality around him to get his side over the line. They fell 27 runs short of the target, for Pakistan to wrap up their tour of South Africa with the victory.