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Pakistan v SA T20I trophy

Pakistan win last over thriller to take T20I series 3-1

SA v Pak, fourth T20I, report

A series that ebbed and flowed still had twists till the final over as Pakistan crossed the finish line, winning the final T20I by three wickets over South Africa, with just a ball to spare.

Scorecard

Pakistan clinched the series 3-1 in a last-over thriller thanks to an early flourish from Fakhar Zaman (60) and finishing touches from Mohammad Nawaz (25*) after their bowlers had reduced South Africa to 144.

Earlier, Pakistan won the toss and opted to field. South Africa lost the in-form Aiden Markram early in the innings who had scored three consecutive fifties in the series previously. Nawaz trapped Markram (11) leg-before as the hawkeye confirmed the ball clipped the top of leg-stump despite Nawaz going for plenty at the start of the over.

Subsequently, Janneman Malan was joined by Rassie van der Dussen in the middle. The duo added 57 runs for the second wicket which was later broken by Faheem Ashraf. Malan (33) was enticed by Ashraf to go for an expansive cover drive but was caught by Zaman at extra cover. 

Van der Dussen was stranded alone as he lost partners at regular intervals. Skipper Heinrich Klaasen (9) was sent back early in the 13th over when smashed the ball hard which landed straight into the hands of Shaheen Shah Afridi.

Van der Dussen scored a clinical half-century, 52 runs off 36 balls but soon perished to Haris Rauf as he dragged the ball across to deep mid-wicket where he was caught.

Ashraf ended his bowling spell on a high as he nicked the wicket of George Linde for 3. Ashraf’s bowling figures of 3/17 was an exhibition of controlled medium pace bowling at a ground privy of bowlers being expensive. 

The South Africa lower middle order imploded as Pakistan bowlers made a comeback in the game as they didn’t allow any of the batters to reach double-digit scores. The hosts were eventually bundled out for 144 in 19.3 overs. 

In their chase, Pakistan got off to a shaky start. Mohammad Rizwan was out for a duck getting stumped down the leg side in the first over. 

A 91-run stand between Babar Azam (24) and Fakhar Zaman brought the visitors in the driver's seat with Zaman scoring the majority of the runs. 

Their solid stand came to an end when Lizaad Williams was brought into the attack. He snared the wickets of the two set batsmen in the same over.

The run chase which seemed elementary still had some twists ahead. Pakistan stuttered as a collapse ensued with the middle order failing to kick off. They went from 92/1 to 115/6 with a boundary draught. 

With the run rate still at achievable limits, Nawaz rose to the occasion to take Pakistan home with a six off the second-last ball. Back-to-back no-balls from Magala in the 19th over eased the pressure as Nawaz dispatched the free hit for a six, bringing down the equation to run a ball for the final over. 

Pakistan finished the tour with both ODI and T20I trophy in their bag.

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