Proteas captain Heinrich Klaasen had won the toss and elected to bat first
South Africa’s batsmen feasted on the Pakistan bowling attack on a perfect batting strip on the way to scoring a massive 188-run total at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg in the first Twenty20 International (T20I) between the two sides on Saturday.
Proteas captain Heinrich Klaasen had won the toss and elected to bat first. Openers Janneman Malan and Aiden Markram quickly made their intentions clear by going hard after Pakistan’s premier pacer Shaheen Afridi.
The pacer went for 25 runs in his first two overs while spinner Mohammad Nawaz kept things tight at the other end. The spinner was rewarded for his discipline with the wicket of Malan, who was out LBW, after scoring 24 runs off 16 balls.
Pacer Hasan Ali then removed batsman Wihan Lubbe (four off three balls) as he miscued a slower ball straight into the hands of fielder Shaheen.
Despite the fall of two wickets, the Proteas batsmen continued to go after the bowling attack. Skipper Heinrich Klaasen combined with opener Aiden Markram for a 62-run partnership off just 33 balls to establish a strong foundation for their side.
A returning Nawaz however got rid of Aiden Markram, caught expertly by wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan, after the opener had raced to 51 runs off 32 balls.
Batsman PJ van Biljon then came out to the middle and continued the momentum for his side alongside Klaasen. The two batsmen combined for a 61-run partnership off 37 balls to put their side on track for a massive total.
Klaasen was then removed by all-rounder Faheem Ashraf, caught by fielder Fakhar Zaman, after scoring 50 runs off 28 balls.
With the skipper back in the hut, Pakistan began to tighten the screws with disciplined line and lengths. Biljon soon fell while trying to hit a boundary off the bowling of Shaheen, caught by fielder Nawaz, after scoring 34 runs off 24 balls.
Pacer Haris Rauf then removed batsman George Linde (six off seven balls) through a successful LBW as Pakistan dried up the boundaries towards the end of the innings.
All-rounders Andile Phehlukwayo and Sisanda Magala, nine runs each, then guided their side to a tricky 188-run total in their allotted overs for the loss of six wickets.
Mohammad Nawaz and Hasan Ali picked up two wickets each while Shaheen Shah and Haris Rauf picked up one wicket each for the Men in Green.
Former Pakistan batsman Zaheer Abbas, who is famously known as the Asian Bradman, spoke to Cricket Pakistan in an exclusive interview.13/May/2021