Mohammad Rizwan's 50-ball 74* helps Pakistan win last over thriller

Mohammad Rizwan played a match-winning knock for Pakistan in the first T20I against South Africa.
Mohammad Rizwan played a match-winning knock for Pakistan in the first T20I against South Africa.
Modified 11 Apr 2021

Wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan continued his fine form in T20 cricket with a fantastic performance against South Africa in Johannesburg. The right-handed batsman scored an unbeaten 50-ball 74* to help the visitors chase a 189-run target versus South Africa.

Batting first, South Africa scored 188/6, riding on half-centuries from Aiden Markram and stand-in skipper Heinrich Klaasen. Mohammad Nawaz bowled a brilliant spell of 2/21 in his four overs.

In reply, Pakistan lost wickets at regular intervals. However, Mohammad Rizwan held one end and destroyed the opposition bowling lineup to take his team over the line. Fakhar Zaman and Faheem Ashraf supported him well with some crucial runs.

Brief Scores: South Africa 188/6 (Aiden Markram 51, Heinrich Klaasen 50; Mohammad Nawaz 2/21, Hasan Ali 2/28) lost to Pakistan 189/6 (Mohammad Rizwan 74*, Faheem Ashraf 30; Beuran Hendricks 3/32, Tabraiz Shamsi 2/29) by four wickets.

South Africa won the toss and elected to bat at The Wanderers Stadium. The Proteas lost two wickets in the powerplay. However, a 63-run third-wicket partnership between Aiden Markram and Heinrich Klaasen helped them reach close to the 100-run mark.

Mohammad Nawaz then dismissed Markram to end the partnership. Pite van Biljon then joined hands with skipper Klaasen to take the score past 150. Hasan Ali, Shaheen Afridi and Harif Rauf picked up wickets in the death overs, but they could not stop South Africa from posting 188/6 on the board.

Mohammad Rizwan brilliance helps Pakistan take a 1-0 lead in T20I series

Chasing 189, Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan provided an excellent start for Pakistan. The duo added 41 runs for the first wicket before Beuran Hendricks sent Azam back to the dressing room.

Continuing his form from the ODI series, Fakhar Zaman scored a 19-ball 27, smashing four fours and a six.

South Africa bounced back after Fakhar's dismissal as they picked up the wickets of Mohammed Hafeez, Haider Ali and Mohammad Nawaz inside three overs. It looked like the home side would seal the deal by taking Mohammad Rizwan's crucial wicket as well. However, that did not happen.

Faheem Ashraf backed Rizwan with a 14-ball 30, hitting four boundaries and a maximum. The two Pakistani batsmen stitched a 48-run stand in just four overs to turn the game back in their team's favor. They brought the equation down to 11 off 6.

Ashraf scored two off the first ball before losing his stumps to Lizaad Williams on the second ball of the final over. However, Hasan Ali completed the run-chase in style by scoring the remaining nine runs off the next three deliveries.

Published 11 Apr 2021
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