Awful Proteas powerplay hands Pakistan victory in dead rubber

By Sports Desk February 06, 2019

Pakistan recovered some pride in the third and final Twenty20 international against South Africa as they eased to a 27-run success.

The Proteas had already sealed a series win with back-to-back victories ahead of this match, having also come out on top in the Tests and the one-day internationals.

But Pakistan ensured there would be some belated positives to take from the contests with a triumph in Centurion.

South Africa looked to have seized control after a bright start from the tourists with the bat, yet Shadab Khan (22) finished out the innings in style and a target of 169 proved far from straightforward.

Although both Rassie van der Dussen (41) and Chris Morris (55 not out) offered some resistance after a dismal powerplay, they were let down by their team-mates and South Africa finished well short on 141-9.

South Africa required the wicket of Babar Azam, who had made 23 off 11 balls, to check the tourists' early momentum, with Morris (2-27) and Beuran Hendricks (4-14) slowing the scoring while others coughed up cheap runs.

A bizarre mix-up between Morris and Tabraiz Shamsi at the boundary gifted Mohammad Rizwan (26) his third four, but the batsman was out from the following delivery as he picked out Junior Dala for Lutho Sipamla's first international wicket.

Pakistan's innings became increasingly error strewn and a messy run out accounted for captain Shoaib Malik (18), before Hussain Talat edged behind with a wild swipe.

As the tourists looked to be recovering some composure, Hendricks came to the fore. He crashed through Imad Wasim (19) and, with Pakistan searching for sixes, saw both Faheem Ashraf and Mohammad Amir pick out fielders from the penultimate over.

But then Shadab smashed 22 off eight deliveries to close out the innings at 168-9 and the tide turned again.

Runs were slow and wickets were swift in the South Africa innings. Van der Dussen battled away, but the Proteas had tallied just 24-2 by the end of the powerplay, the lowest such score on this ground.

A partnership of 36 between Van der Dussen and David Miller was the hosts' largest, but the former was removed by Faheem Ashraf as he sliced a full toss delivery.

There was a brief window of hope for South Africa as Morris hit a brilliant 21 off the 14th over, but his partners failed to keep pace.

Even as the big-hitter passed 50 with a pair of sixes in the final over, Pakistan cruised to the finish.

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