Centurion: Babar Azam scored his maiden century, Mohammad Rizwan supported him strongly as Pakistan thrashed South Africa by 9 wickets in the third T20I on Wednesday.
Babar Azam was on song and hit back to his critics by scoring a century off just 49 balls. It was his first hundred in T20Is and also he became the third Pakistani batter to score a century in all three formats of the game.
Rizwan kept his and his team’s spirits high by handling South African bowlers at the other end as Pakistan completed their highest T20I run-chase in 18 overs.
Earlier, Aiden Markram and Janneman Malan put up a solid 108-runs opening partnership as South Africa scored 203-5 in 20 overs.
Sent into bat first, Markram and Malan were in an aggressive mood and made the most for South Africa on a pitch that looked batting paradise.
— Cricket South Africa (@OfficialCSA) April 14, 2021
The opening duo thrashed Pakistani bowlers all around the park and brought up 100 runs in just 10 overs. Malan made 55 off 40 balls with the help of five boundaries and two sixes whereas Markram remained unbeaten for 63 runs off 31 balls laced with six boundaries four maximums.
Rassie van der Dussen played a solid knock making his comeback after an injury. He scored 34 runs off 20 balls spread over a boundary and two sixes. George Linde made 22 runs.
Mohammad Nawaz picked up two wickets whereas Shaheen Shah Afridi, Hasan Ali, and Faheem Ashraf shared a wicket apiece.
In reply, South Africa were stunned by Babar and Rizwan as they scored the highest opening partnership of 197 runs from Pakistan.
— Pakistan Cricket (@TheRealPCB) April 14, 2021
Babar scored 122 runs off 59 balls with the help of 15 boundaries and four sixes whereas Rizwan remained not out for 73 runs off 47 balls laced with five boundaries and two sixes.
Fakhar Zaman came in when Babar got out in the 18th over. He struck back-to-back boundaries for Pakistan to complete the chase successfully.
Lizaad Williams was the only wicket-taker from South Africa.
Pakistan’s skipper Babar Azam won the toss and elected to bowl first
Pakistan made three changes – Fakhar Zaman was back in place of Sharjeel Khan, while Haris Rauf replaced Mohammad Hasnain. They’ve also strengthened their batting, with Asif Ali replacing Usman Qadir.
South Africa brought in Rassie van der Dussen to replace Wihan Lubbe.
It must be noted that the four-match series is level at 1-1.
Pakistan: Mohammad Rizwan, Babar Azam, Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Hafeez, Haider Ali, Asif Ali, Mohammad Nawaz, Faheem Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf.
South Africa: Aiden Makram, Janneman Malan, Rassie van der Dussen, Heinrich Klaasen, Pite van Biljon, George Linde, 7 Andile Phehlukwayo, Sisanda Magala, Beuran Hendricks, Lizaad Williams, Tabraiz Shamsi.