Rizwan’s magical hundred sinks South Africa in T20 thriller

Published February 12, 2021
PAKISTAN opener Mohammad Rizwan plays a stroke during his century knock in the first Twenty20 International against South Africa at the Gaddafi Stadium on Thursday.—M.Arif/White Star
PAKISTAN opener Mohammad Rizwan plays a stroke during his century knock in the first Twenty20 International against South Africa at the Gaddafi Stadium on Thursday.—M.Arif/White Star

LAHORE: A brilliant unbeaten century by in-form ‘keeper-batsman Mohammad Rizwan and fine bowling by leg-spinner Usman Qadir guided Pakistan to a nail-biting three-run victory over South Africa in the first of the three T20 matches at the Gaddafi Stadium here on Thursday night.

Chasing 170, South Africa put up a valiant effort and fell just three runs short after requiring 19 runs from the last over bowled by Faheem Ashraf. The unbeaten pair of Dwaine Pretorious (15 not out) and Bjorn Fortuin (17) were on the crease when the match ended with the Proteas finishing at 166 for six in 20 overs.

Earlier, dashing Rizwan’s scintillating 104 not out helped Pakistan post a fighting total of 169 for six in 20 overs but the remaining batsmen could only score 65 runs among them, with Haider Ali (21) being the second best scorer.

Rizwan, who was dropped thrice, took the advantage and hit seven sixes and six boundaries, while facing 64 balls to become second Pakistani to score a T20 International century after Ahmed Shehzad who scored 111 against Bangladesh in Dhaka in 2014.

Pakistan made a shaky start after asked to bat first, when it lost the prize wicket of captain Babar Azam who was run out for a duck while taking a risky single. slow-left arm bowler Proteas Bjorn Fortuin hit the stumps on a direct hit to send the skipper home. However, Haider Ali, known for his hard hitting, arrived and straight away hit a six and a four off Fortuin.

Then Rizwan slammed two boundaries off Andile Phehlukwayo. But in the next over, Haider tried for another big hit but was brilliantly caught by a running Jacques Snyman off Phehlukwayo for 16-ball 21 containing three sixes. Pakistan reached the 50-run mark in 6.4. Hussain Talat was stumped with the total at 69 for 3.

Rizwan completed 50 off 35 balls, hitting three sixes off pacer Junior Dala in his first over. Pakistan lost their fourth wicket when Iftikhar Ahmed (4) was caught by Reeza Hendricks off Fortuin and Khushdil Shah fell in the 16th over, leaving Pakistan at 134-5. Faheem Ashraf was the sixth to go, caught by Miller off Phehlukwayo in the 18th over. But Rizwan achieved the grand three-figures in style when he lofted Phehlukwayo out of the ground in the last over.

PAKISTAN leg-spinner Usman Qadir celebrates after bowling South African opener Janneman Malan on Thursday.—White Star
PAKISTAN leg-spinner Usman Qadir celebrates after bowling South African opener Janneman Malan on Thursday.—White Star

South African pacer Phehlukwayo captured two wickets for 33 runs in 4 overs. Fortuin (1-25), Tabriz Shamsi (1-20) and Lutho Sipamla (1-37) were the other successful bowlers.

South Africa made a stormy start, especially through opener Janneman Malan who along with Reeza Hendricks, posted 50 in just 5.1 overs. However, Babar brought in Usman, after pacer Haris Rauf (two overs, 28 runs) and Shaheen Afridi (two overs, 16 runs) failed to stop the run-spree.

Usman put South African in deep trouble by clean bowling Malan (44 in 29 balls) at the total of 53 and then sent back Jacques Snyman off a googly at the total of 62 in 9.1 overs as the visitors were 66 in 10 overs, eight runs short on the target of meeting the DRS, as fog began to grow thicker and created problems due to diminshing light. Malan’s knock was laced with eight fours and one towering six.

Faheem gave Pakistan their third success taking the prized wicket of David Miller, who unnecessarily chased a slower one wide of off-stump to be caught by Rizwan for six, making the situation alarming for the Proteas at 3-83 at the end of the 12th over.

South Africa collected 100 runs in 13.4 overs and looked good for a possible win, especially after Faheem was smashed by Hendricks for three back to back boundaries. But South Africa then lost captain Klaasen off Haris, caught at mid-wicket boundary by Khushdil Shah for just 12.

At that stage South Africa required 55 runs off 28. In the same over, Hendricks completed his 50 off 38 balls with seven fours and one six. But after adding four runs, he was run out mainly due to his own mistake as he first went out to get a risky single and then tried to come back but not before an agile Rizwan uprooted the stumps. He made 54 off 42 at the total of 134 in 17.4 overs. Five runs later, South Africa lost Phehlukwayo (14), caught by Haider off Haris.

At that stage, the tourists needed 31 runs from 14 balls and 19 from the last over bowled by Faheem. Usman proved an economical bowler taking two wickets for 21, while Haris was expensive with 2-44.

Scoreboard

PAKISTAN:

Mohammad Rizwan not out104 Babar Azam run out0 Haider Ali c Snyman b Phehlukwayo21 Hussain Talat st Klaasen b Shamsi15 Iftikhar Ahmed c Hendricks b Fortuin4 Khushdil Shah c Fortuin b Sipamla12 Faheem Ashraf c Miller b Phehlukwayo4 Mohammad Nawaz not out3 EXTRAS (B-1, LB-3, W-2)6 TOTAL (for six wkts, 20 overs)169 DID NOT BAT: Usman Qadir, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf FALL OF WKTS: 1-1, 2-37, 3-69, 4-99, 5-134, 6-143 BOWLING: Fortuin 3-0-25-1; Pretorius 2-0-13-0; Phehlukwayo 4-0-33-2; Sipamla 4-0-37-1; Snyman 1-0-12-0; Dala 2-0-25-0 (1w); Shamsi 4-0-20-1 (1w)

SOUTH AFRICA:

J. Malan b Usman44 R. Hendricks run out54 J. Snyman b Usman2 D. Miller c Rizwan b Faheem6 H. Klaasen c Hussain b Haris12 A. Phehlukwayo c Haider b Haris14 D. Pretorius not out15 B. Fortuin not out17 EXTRAS (W-2)2 TOTAL (for six wkts, 20 overs)166 DID NOT BAT: J. Dala, L. Sipamla, T. Shamsi FALL OF WKTS: 1-53, 2-61, 3-83, 4-115, 5-134, 6-139 BOWLING: Nawaz 4-0-21-0 (1w); Haris 4-0-44-2; Shaheen 4-0-37-0; Usman 4-0-21-2; Khushdil 1-0-6-0; Faheem 3-0-37-1 RESULT: Pakistan won by three runs. MAN-OF-THE-MATCH: Mohammad Rizwan SERIES: Pakistan lead the three-match series 1-0. UMPIRES: Aleem Dar and Ahsan Raza (both Pakistan) TV UMPIRE: Shozab Raza (Pakistan) MATCH REFEREE: Mohammad Javed Malik (Pakistan)

Published in Dawn, February 12th, 2021

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