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South Africa-Pakistan

South Africa end Pakistan winning streak


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Photo: Collected

|| CF Correspondent ||

South Africa ended a nine-match Pakistan T20 winning streak in the first T20 at Newlands on Friday. A record 131-stand between Faf du Plessis and Reeza Hendricks helped the hosts to take 1-0 lead.

South Africa won by six runs in a tense finish after being sent in and making 192 for six. It was the highest total in a T20 international at Newlands. Pakistan came close, scoring 182 for nine.

South Africa’s captain Faf du Plessis said, "They are a very composed, experienced T20 team. Being so dominant for a lot of games, obviously they are very confident. They are a very good team. We did some really good things tonight." On the other hand, Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik admitted, "Overall we played well, but South Africa were good in all three departments."

David Miller, who took 4 catches and effected two run outs for the hosts, named as the player of the match. His two direct-hit run-outs, including the key wicket of Babar Azam, and a South African record four catches, meant that Pakistan kept losing wickets as they chased a challenging target.

Earlier, Pakistan won the toss and elected to field at Newlands - a venue where South Africa haven't enjoyed a lot of success in T20Is. Both the teams came into the contest with a key player unavailable.

Du Plessis scored 78 off 45 balls and shared a record second wicket stand of 131 off 74 balls with Hendricks, who made 74 off 41 balls. But his dismissal in the 16th over sparked a mini-collapse. South Africa lost five wickets while scoring only 35 runs in the last 28 balls of the innings. Left-arm fast bowler Usman Shinwari dismissed Du Plessis and Rassie van der Dussen in the same over and finished with three for 31. South Africa were eventually restricted to 192 for 6.

Pakistan made a fast start despite losing Fakhar Zaman in the first over. Babar Azam (38) and Hussain Talat (40) put on 81 off 61 balls for the second wicket. South Africa's pacers were proving easy to put away on a pitch where the ball was coming easily on to the bat, and that allowed the visitors to race to 58 in the first six overs.

At one stage they were scoring at close to 10 runs an over but the scoring slowed against tight bowling by medium-pacer Andile Phehlukwayo and left-arm spinner Tabraiz Shamsi. Only 19 runs were conceded in their first three overs. The match turned in South Africa's favor when Talat was caught off Shamsi, to be followed in the next over by Babar's run out, after a superb piece of fielding by Miller. Asif Ali, Imad Wasim and Hasan Ali fell in a similar fashion, all caught by Miller in the deep.

Malik kept Pakistan in the game, scoring 49 off 31 balls before he was dismissed off the third ball of the final over. Miller had a role to play even in Malik's dismissal. Miller eventually proved to be the difference between the two sides as South Africa won by six runs.