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South Africa set 204-run target for Pakistan in third T20I

The openers completed team’s fifty inside five overs to give an ideal start to the Proteas

South Africa set 204-run target for Pakistan in third T20I PHOTO: AFP

Fifties from South African openers, Aiden Markram and Janneman Malan, helped South African post 203/5 in the third T20I against South Africa in Centurion.

After being asked to bat first, opener Aiden Markram deposited Mohammad Nawaz for a six in the second over of the innings to break the shackles.

Shaheen Afridi, who conceded only two runs in his first over, was smashed for a four followed by a six in his second over by Janneman Malan.

Despite a bowling change, Malan and Markram continued to attack and took 19 runs off the first over of Hasan Ali.

The openers completed team’s fifty inside five overs to give an ideal start to the Proteas.

Faheem Ashraf tried to take the pace off the bowling but Malan was equal to it as he dispatched the all-rounder for two magnificent boundaries in the 9th over.

At the other end, Aiden Markram cashed on his rich vein of form as he brought up his third consecutive fifty in the series off just 25 balls, to bring up South Africa’s hundred in 10 overs.

Pakistan needed a wicket and Nawaz provided the breakthrough by removing Markram for 63.

South Africa promoted all-rounder George Linde to counter the spin threat from Nawaz. Linde took advantage of the angle and hit the left-arm spinner for a six in the eleventh over.

Malan continued to accelerate as he brought up his fifty in just 36 balls.

Faheem Ashraf ended Linde’s 22-run cameo from 11 balls, as the left-hander chopped the ball to his stumps.

Malan was eventually caught by Faheem Ashraf for 55, handing Nawaz his second wicket of the match.

South Africa needed their captain Heinrich Klaasen to step up and provide a strong finish. Klaasen was looking in good form but his stay came to end courtesy off a Yorker from Hasan Ali, cleaning up the wicketkeeper-batsman for 15.

Rassie Van der Dussen, who was making a comeback from injury, played a blistering 34-run knock from 20 balls, to take South Africa to a competitive total.