It came down to the last ball of the match as South Africa needed 6 to register a win but Faheem Ashraf kept his composure as Pakistan clinched the game by 3 runs to go 1-0 in the series.
The star of the show was Muhammad Rizwan, who on the night was unstoppable and scored a magnificent 104 off 64 and remained unbeaten. It seems like the wicket-keeper batsmen is in the form of his life. Four days back he scored his maiden Test century and helped Pakistan win the second Test and today brought his best game in the shortest format.
His first 50 runs came off 35 but soon after that, he got into the next gear. He dispatched Junior Dala for three sixes in an over and then swept Tabraiz Shamsi for a boundary and after that, there was no stopping him. On a pitch where the whole Pakistani team scored 65 off 56 balls, Rizwan was striking it in excess of 160.
Pakistan had a bad start to the innings as Babar Azam got run out courtesy a great fielding effort from Bjorn Fortuin. Haider Ali and Rizwan added 36 runs for the third wicket before Haider got hold out in the deep by debutant Snyman. Hussain Talat and Khushdil Shah chipped in with 15 and 12 respectively but it was Rizwan who gave the late impetus to the innings.
In the last over of the innings Rizwan hit a towering six to reach his maiden T20 century becoming only the second Pakistani to do so in the format.
While chasing 170 to win, South Africa made a brisk start with Janneman Malan dispatching Haris Rauf for four boundaries in an over. The visitors finished the power play with 51 runs on the board. It was Usman Qadir who turned the tide in Pakistan’s favour after cleaning Malan on 44 and then sent Snyman back to the pavilion. He was ably assisted by Muhammad Nawaz who tightened the screws at the other end.
Faheem Ashraf dismissed David Miller, South Africa’s most experienced player. Rauf who was expensive but picked up two wickets at the end of captain Henrich Klassen and Andile Phleukwayo to make it tough for the Proteas.
Hendricks’s fifth Twenty20 international fifty had eight boundaries off 42 balls while Malan hit eight boundaries and a six off just 29 balls.
For Pakistan, Qadir took 2-21 and fast bowler Haris Rauf finished with 2-44. Muhammad Nawaz though was wicketless but gave away just 21 runs and had a role to play in the win.
Both teams will be up against each other on Saturday. The visitors will take a lot of heart from their spirited performance today while Pakistan will be looking to make it 2-0 in the series.