JOHANNESBURG, APR 10 – Pakistan defeated South Africa by four wickets in a thrilling finish to the first Twenty20 international at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg on Saturday.
Needing 11 of the last over, Pakistan reached home with just one ball remaining.
Hasan Ali and Mohammad Rizwan scampered for a third run after the bowler couldn’t collect the ball cleanly from the outfielder at deep midwicket to secure Pakistan’s win.
Rizwan was once again the star for Pakistan, batting through the innings and scoring a swift 74 from 50 balls, including nine fours and two sixes.
Earlier, South Africa won the toss and decided to bat, setting the visitors a target of 189 runs.
Heinrich Klaasen, who is captaining South Africa in place of the injured Temba Bavuma, led from the front with a half century from 28 balls.
Opener Aiden Markram was the highest scorer for the Proteas, scoring 51 runs from 32 balls before he was caught behind off spinner Mohammad Nawaz.
Nawaz and Hasan Ali picked up two wickets a piece, with Shaheen Afridi and Haris Rauf also bagging a wicket each.
South Africa ended the innings with a huge six from Sisanda Migala as the visitors picked up 14 runs from the final over, settling at 188/6.
After the toss, Klaasen said he expected the pitch to be at its best in the first innings.
“It looks quite dry. Hopefully it will crumble a bit later.”
South Africa, missing five players who have left to play in the Indian Premier League and without Bavuma, Rassie van der Dussen and Dwain Pretorius because of injury, named three new caps in all-rounder Wihan Lubbe and fast bowlers Sisanda Magala and Lizaad Williams.
Pakistan included two players, Haider Ali and veteran Mohammad Hafeez, who were not part of their winning one-day international team in a series which ended on Wednesday.
South Africa: Heinrich Klaasen (captain, wkt), Aiden Markram, Janneman Malan, Pite van Biljon, Wihan Lubbe, George Linde, Andile Phehlukwayo, Sisanda Magala, Beuran Hendricks, Lizaad Williams, Tabraiz Shamsi
Pakistan: Babar Azam (captain), Mohammad Rizwan (wkt), Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Hafeez, Haider Ali, Mohammad Nawaz, Faheem Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Usman Qadir, Haris Rauf
Umpires: Adrian Holdstock, Allahudien Paleker (both RSA)
Television umpire: Bongani Jele (RSA)
Match referee: Andy Pycroft (ZIM)