Pakistan completed a clean sweep of four trophies in four series against South Africa, but had an anxious moments before rushing for a three-wicket win with one ball to lose in the fourth and final Twenty20 international at SuperSport Centurion Park Friday. “This is a great moment for Pakistan. It is not easy to win matches in South Africa,” captain Babar Azam said through an interpreter during the post-match presentation. . Pakistan, who earlier in the season beat South Africa in the T20 tests and internationals in Pakistan, strung a 2-1 win in the one-day series with a 3-1 win in the T20s for complete a successful tour.
Mid-pace bowler Faheem Ashraf put together what seemed like an easy win for Pakistan when they took three for 17 as South Africa was eliminated for 144 on what is usually a high scoring field.
Pakistan rolled at 92-to-one in ten as Babar and Fakhar Zaman shared an impressive second-wicket partnership after Mohammad Rizwan was stumped in the first.
But Fakhar, who hit five fours and four sixes in a 34-ball 60, went for one big shot too much and sliced a high hold at the back point.
Babar, who was named man of the series, was caught at third man wide for 24 three balls later and Pakistan ended up in a collapse in which six wickets fell for 37 races.
Two noballs in the penultimate by Sisanda Magala proved disastrous for the hosts, with the resulting second free kick being slammed for six by Mohammad Nawaz.
However, he still stayed on the fifth ball of the Final before Nawaz took the win with six others, off Lizaad Williams.
South Africa, with five key players released in the Indian Premier League (IPL) and without a captain named Temba Bavuma due to injury, struck badly but pushed their way into the game despite four unballasted pins and seven broad.
“I am disappointed, but we have young cricketers with great talent and I am proud of them,” said substitute captain Heinrich Klaasen.
“We have shown that we can fight and compete as a young group, but we need to get more consistency in our performance.”
Faheem earlier began a South African collapse similar to the one that later afflicted Pakistan.
South Africa had reached 73 to one after Aiden Markram’s early loss when Faheem caught up with Janneman Malan at the halfway point for 33 in the ninth.
He followed suit with the counters of Klaasen and George Linde. He played his four overs in succession and did not concede a limit.
“My memory was clear from the captain, but the tone was set by the new ball players,” he said.
Fast bowlers Hasan Ali and Haris Rauf took three for 40 and two for 18 respectively.
Rassie van der Dussen was South Africa’s leading scorer with 52 out of 36 balls.
The series ended a truncated home season for South Africa, which lost a T20 series to England and claimed their only series victory by winning two tests against Sri Lanka before tackling Pakistan.
Babar praised the facilities provided to his team at a bio-secure country club between Johannesburg and Centurion, with matches shared between the two venues.
His team will now travel to Harare for three T20 internationals and two tests against Zimbabwe.
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