Pakistan has completed their highest successful T20I run-chase with 12 balls to spare, beating South Africa with nine wickets.
A feast of batting is what we watched today with Pakistan taking a 2-1 lead in the series. All credit for this goes to the opening duo: Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan.
Pakistan had never chased down a 200-plus target before this was only their second opportunity to do so and they’ve done it with two whole overs to spare. Babar has played an absolute blinder to lead the way, and Rizwan was the perfect foil, on a day when South African bowlers struggled for control in brilliant batting conditions. Babar and Rizwan put on 197, the fourth-highest T20I partnership overall, and the highest ever in a chase.
South Africa scored 203 runs with the loss of only 5 wickets. Earlier, the pair of Janneman Malan and Aiden Markram, with the latter’s 31-ball 63 being his third successive T20I half-century. Markram bossed the show, with South Africa speeding along to 140 inside 13 overs.
It is pertinent to mention here that Azam got to his first T20I hundred off just 49 balls, two days after he took 50 balls to score as many runs, smashing 15 boundaries and four sixes along the way.
Talking to Ramiz Raja in the presentation ceremony, Babar said: “I had been waiting for this for a long time, I had planned for a long time, and today Allah has given me a chance to finish it. I stick to my strengths and play according to them, and the team’s requirements.”
The batsman further shared: “Rizwan bhai also played outstanding innings. He was fasting (for Ramzan), and yet he batted and kept wickets, and was outstanding. We get a lot of confidence and belief looking at him.”
“I also achieved a dream in one-day cricket today (No 1 ranking). I struggled hard, there was a lot of hard work that went into it. I keep trying to learn and add new things to my game, and I will keep trying to do the same,” said Babar, adding: “I think for our first six overs, we have to give credit to Malan and Markram for playing outstanding innings, until the 10-over mark, but the way we came back in the last five overs allowed us to restrict them to around 200.”