Right then! A number 1 T20I team taking on a young and inexperienced Protean side with key players rested. You would have expected Pakistan to be 2-0 up. But South Africa have turned the tables with a role reversal and however one might say Pakistan choked, the Protea bowlers deserve no less credit for their efforts. Can they now produce a dream result of whitewashing the number 1 side? Or will Pakistan leave the African shores with something to smile about? Join us on Wednesday, February 6, 2019 at 6 pm local (1600 GMT) for all the action from the third and final T20I. ADIOS! TAKE CARE!
VICTORIOUS SOUTH AFRICAN SKIPPER DAVID MILLER HAS BEEN NAMED THE MAN OF THE MATCH FOR HIS 65 (51). Is all smiles about the result and praises his bowlers for doing incredibly well. On his own batting in the final over, Miller says that it was very enjoyable. Since it was the last over, he says that he just tried swinging. After connecting the first 2 balls, he felt that he could get a few more. Admits that South Africa did not start too well with the ball but then came back superbly at the back end. Praises Sipamla for doing really well on debut. On his thought process with Pakistan's score reading 63/1 after 5 overs, David says that he felt he was the worst captain in history but then smiles and says that he just asked the bowlers to keep working on the cutters and try and execute them.
Pakistan captain, Shoaib Malik says that it was an exceptional game but is disappointed that Pakistan could not win in spite of having it on a platter. On Babar Azam, he says that Babar is a class player, playing proper cricketing shots. Praises Hussain Talat as well and again laments that despite their heroic efforts, the rest of the team could not finish it off. But also criticizes them a bit saying that one of the two should have finished the game off because it becomes difficult for a new batsman to face the old ball. However, he understands that T20 is a game of risks and adds that the team needs to sit in the dressing room and analyze how to finish off matches. Praises Imad Wasim and Shaheen Afridi for bowling superbly in the Powerplay but laments again that the death overs cost them. Admits that he was wary that a big David Miller knock was always around the corner and they had different backup plans for his attack but they could not materialize. Overall, he says that Pakistan need to plan better for the last few overs. On the third match, Malik says that every game presents itself with a new opportunity. What is gone is gone and Pakistan just need to focus on trying to win the third and final T20I, learning from what has happened in the first 2 games.
This match could have been won by anyone. But in such games, the team which holds its nerves comes out trumps. Pakistan should have not have been chasing more than 170 with South Africa 126/3 after 16.1 overs. The tourists should have won with 42 needed from 24 balls. But there lies the main difference - South Africa finished the innings nicely with the bat and finished the game exceedingly well with the ball. Majority of the bowlers got hammered but a word for the debutant Lutho Sipamla - his 4-0-23-0 along with Shamsi's 4-0-31-0 kept Pakistan quiet for a while in the middle overs and in T20 cricket, many times, even 2-3 good overs can put some pressure. Please stay tuned for the presentation...
When Azam got out, Pakistan needed 42 from 23 balls. 8 wickets were left in the tank. Add to it, South Africa were not bowling well at all. But then, things started to happen. Pakistan kept losing wicket after wicket, inspite of getting a reprieve - Asif Ali being caught 3 but the delivery being deemed a no ball. Yet, the best of spells came towards the end from the Proteas - Chris Morris bowled a stunning 19th over, where he picked up 2 wickets while Andile Phehlukwayo sealed the deal in the final over with the wicket of Shoaib Malik.
A 45-run stand between Fakhar Zaman and Babar Azam in 24 balls set the platform for the win and then a 102-run partnership between Babar and Hussain Talat just nearly sealed the deal. NEARLY. How important is that adverb. The game is not over till it is over and today was another example of that.
A good start is always essential for a good result but you need a clinical finish to achieve that good result. Pakistan started well with the ball, but Miller's assault at the death literally killed them. And then, if we say the visitors exploded with the bat in the Powerplay, they imploded towards the end, committing suicide at the death.
A fantastic match. South Africa will say they bowled well to change the game from a losing position while Pakistan will opine that they let the opportunity slip by. Their string of 11 successive series wins is broken. And how? First, a loss by 6 runs. Here, a loss by 7 runs. Nothing much to choose from.
South Africa. Choking. Go hand in hand, don't they? This time though, they have choked the opposition. Pakistan, being Pakistan, have played like Pakistan and lost like how, usually South Africa do, but then Pakistan can do anything because they are Pakistan. Mickey Arthur is stunned. Imagine you are about to take a bite of your favourite pizza and the whole box itself disappears.
A Phehlukwayo to M Rizwan, Outside off, punched through the covers for a single. SOUTH AFRICA WIN BY 7 RUNS AND TAKE AN UNASSAILABLE 2-0 SERIES LEAD!
Mohammad Rizwan eventually walks out now, with the game literally over.
A Phehlukwayo to H Ali, OUT! BOWLED! That is the end of the game, theoretically. Phehlukwayo started this over badly but is taking full control of the same. Keeps it full and straight, expecting Hasan Ali to slog and that is exactly what Hasan does. He misses, Phehlukwayo hits. Bang. At the base of leg stump. What a choke from Pakistan - 6/33 in 23 balls!
Shadab Khan comes in now, at number 8, replacing his captain.
A Phehlukwayo to S Malik, OUT! Is that the game for South Africa? Malik is gone now and with that, the chances of Pakistan winning as well. A length ball, around off, Shoaib gives this the kitchen sink, heaving with all his might. Gets it high in the air but not quite the distance. Rassie van der Dussen waits for the ball to complete the parabolic trajectory at deep mid-wicket and takes it comfortably. Then exults! 9 needed from 2...
A Phehlukwayo to H Ali, Very full outside off, squeezed out to cover for a run. 9 from 3...
A Phehlukwayo to S Malik, Misses out. Short and outside off, cut straight to point for just a single. 10 from 4 then.
A Phehlukwayo to S Malik, FOUR! Well, Malik might finish things off! Full and straight, Malik gives himself room to the leg side and hammers it down the ground. Long on cannot get across in time! 11 needed from 5...
END OF OVER: 19 | 12 Runs 2 Wkt | PAK: 174/5
Hasan Ali comes in at number 7, replacing Imad. Interesting. No Rizwan. Andile Phehlukwayo has the responsibility of finishing things off.
C Morris to I Wasim, OUT! The stumps are out of the ground! Second wicket in the over and both in the form of bowled. A length ball, outside off, coming in with the angle, Wasim has an almighty heave. But connects with thin air. The ball demolishes the stumps! Super over from Morris - 12 runs and 2 wickets. 3-0-36-2 for him.
C Morris to I Wasim, FOUR! Up and over! Full and outside off, Imad backs away and lofts it cleanly over mid off!
C Morris to I Wasim, Full on middle, driven down the ground. David Miller races to his right from long on, slides and returns the ball. Two runs taken.
Imad Wasim comes in at number 6, replacing Talat.
C Morris to H Talat, OUT! DRAGS IT ON! The game and series are slipping away from Pakistan. Full and around off, coming in, Talat swings wildly but a touch too early. He only manages a thin contact on the ball and unfortunately for him, it is an inside edge. The ball deflects and crashes into the stumps. Talat departs for 55. Big wicket. 21 needed from 9...
C Morris to H Talat, Outside off, Hussain swings hard but the ball goes off the inner half towards long on. That helps him as he races back for the second.