Pakistan defeated South Africa by four wickets in the opening match of a four-match T20I series in Johannesburg, which went down to the wire.
They hit the mark of 189 with one ball to spare, giving Pakistan a 1-0 lead in the series.
Player-of-the-Match Mohammad Rizwan’s undefeated 74, which included two sixes and nine fours, propelled Pakistan to victory.
This was Pakistan’s 100th victory, excluding Super Over victories.
Faheem Ashraf’s 30 off 14 balls was also helpful to the team in the end. However, the batting lineup did not yield many runs, with skipper Babar Azam scoring 14 runs, Fakhar Zaman scoring 27, Mohammad Hafeez scoring 13, and Haider Ali scoring 14.
South Africa’s poor fielding allowed Pakistan to remain in the game until the final over, allowing Hassan Ali to take the gamble and strike out for the winning runs.
In the absence of many starters, South Africa gave a debut to three players — Wihan Lubbe, Sisanda Magala, and Lizaad Williams — and their naiveté was on full display.
Quinton de Kock, David Miller, Anrich Nortje, Kagiso Rabada, and Lungi Ngidi have all left the Proteas squad for the Indian Premier League.
South Africa had dominated the middle overs when batting but slowed down in the end to finish with 188-6 — a tally that was lower than they were on track to amass when Aiden Markram and Heinrich Klaasen were in full flow.
Pakistan’s bowlers took six wickets, with Shaheen Shah Afridi and Haris Rauf each taking one, and Mohammad Nawaz and Hasan Ali each taking two.
Except for Nawaz and Hasan, both of whom picked up two wickets and were economical, most of Pakistan’s bowlers suffered and went for runs.