Fakhar, Faheem guide Pakistan to a 3-1 T20I series victory

From our correspondent

CENTURIAN: Fakhar Zaman and Faheem Ashraf did well as Pakistan survived a late batting wobble to overcome South Africa by three wickets and capped off the the four-match T20I series 3-1 here at the SuperSport Park on Friday.

Fakhar smashed a 34-ball 60 as Pakistan chased the 145-run target with just one ball to spare after losing seven wickets in the process.

Earlier, Faheem (3-17 in 4) did a brilliant effort to dismiss the Proteas for 144 in 19.3 overs. Chasing a tricky target Pakistan lost in-form Mohammad Rizwan for a two-ball duck, the second in the series, when he was stumped by Kalaasen off Fortuin. However, skipper Babar (24) and Fakhar did well to stitch a 91-run second wicket stand off 54 balls to place Pakistan in a more comfortable position. Pakistan had to face anxious moments when Lizaad Williams got rid of both the batsmen in a single over. Fakhar, who brought in his fifty off 27 balls, smashed four sixes and five fours in his fantastic knock. Babar struck three fours in his 23-ball effort. At that stage Pakistan lost few quick wickets in a clatter and from the last three overs the visitors needed 25 and six off the last over from Williams and two off the last two balls when Mohammad Nawaz hit a glorious six to bring in a much-needed win. It was Pakistan’s second successive T20I series win against Proteas and second white-ball series win on this tour after the visitors had also sealed a 2-1 ODI series a few days ago.

Nawaz hit two sixes and one four in his 21-ball 25 not out, an effort which helped Pakistan record vital victory. Williams (2-39) and Sisanda Magala (2-33) did well for South Africa with the leather.

After being invited to bat South Africa lost in-form Aiden Markram for five-ball 11. However, Rassie van der Dussen made a glorious effort by scoring a 36-ball 52 to pave away for South Africa to post a good total. Rassie, who hit five fours and two sixes, added 57 for the second wicket with Janneman Malan who hit a 28-ball 33, striking three fours and one six.

After Rassie was trapped leg before off Mohammad Nawaz in the 14th over of the innings with South Africa reaching 112-4, the hosts had a bad patch since then as they lost six wickets inside 32 runs which denied them the chance of posting a good total. Faheem was ably backed by Hasan Ali (3-49) and Haris Rauf (2-18). Shaheen Afridi produced his best bowling in the series when he finished with 1-19 in his quota of four overs. Faheem was adjudged as man of the match for his sheet anchor role in bowling by removing Malan, Klaasen (9) and George Linde (3), all dangerous players. Babar was declared as man of the series. Pakistan will now move to Zimbabwe for a three-match T20I and two Test match series.