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Mohammad Rizwan played an outstanding innings: Babar Azam

Wicketkeeper-batsman made an unbeaten 74 as Pakistan chased down a target of 189 with one ball to spare in the first T20I

Mohammad Rizwan played an outstanding innings: Babar Azam PHOTO COURTESY: PCB

Mohammad Rizwan steered Pakistan to their highest winning run chase as they beat South Africa by four wickets in the first Twenty20 international at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg on Saturday.

Rizwan made an unbeaten 74 as Pakistan chased down a target of 189 with one ball to spare. Their previous highest T20 chase was 188 against Australia in Harare in 2018.

“Winning the first game gives us more confidence. We carried the confidence from the ODIs. Rizwan played an outstanding innings. First six overs of our bowling wasn’t good, but we did well to restrict them in the back five. And Rizwan's innings was the difference too. The plan while chasing was to get momentum as openers, knowing that Fakhar and Hafeez will follow. The idea was to utilise the first six overs well,” said Pakistan captain Babar after the match.

Rizwan, who scored only 42 runs in three innings in Pakistan’s 2-1 one-day series win, was back in the form which earned him man of the series awards in both Test and T20 series against South Africa in Pakistan earlier in the year.

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He hit nine fours and two sixes.

The match swung in the last four overs of the two innings.

South Africa could score only 29 in their last four overs, while Pakistan thrashed 52 off the last 3.5 overs.

South Africa captain Heinrich Klaasen rued the poor finish to his side’s innings.

The slide started when he was caught at short leg off Hasan Ali off the second ball of the 17th over after he had raced to 50 off 28 balls.

“We were ten to 15 runs short,” said Klaasen.

South Africa went into the match with a second-string team.

Five players were missing because of Indian Premier League commitments and Klaasen was a stand-in captain after Temba Bavuma was one of three players to miss out because of injuries.

Opening batsman Aiden Markram, who made 51, was a late inclusion after regular T20 opener Reeza Hendricks took paternity leave and South Africa's team had three new caps and only four players with more than ten appearances.

The inexperience showed in the closing overs as bowlers missed their lengths.

Beuran Hendricks picked up three wickets but was hit for 4,6,4 off successive full tosses in the 18th over, which cost 16 runs.