Proteas cruise past Pakistan total to draw level in T20 series

By Sports Desk April 12, 2021

South Africa levelled the four-match Twenty20 series against Pakistan at 1-1 thanks to a convincing six-wicket win at the Wanderers in Johannesburg.

The Proteas - minus their Indian Premier League stars - had slipped to defeat in the opening game on Saturday but recovered impressively from that setback, with a disciplined bowling performance restricting their opponents to 140-9.

Aidan Markram led the reply with 54 from 30 balls and while there was a mid-innings wobble as they slipped to 98-4, the hosts still cruised to their victory target with six overs to spare.

Stand-in captain Heinrich Klaasen finished up unbeaten on 36, while George Linde was 20 not out from just 10 deliveries to complete a fine all-round performance.

Mohammad Rizwan had starred in Pakistan's successful run chase at the weekend, making an unbeaten 74, but fell for a first-ball duck this time.

The recalled Sharjeel Khan – playing his first international game since January 2017 – also departed early for eight, leaving the score at 10-2 in the third over of an innings that simply never gained momentum.

Skipper Babar Azam made 50 at a run-a-ball rate and Mohammad Hafeez contributed 32, the pair adding 58 for the third wicket.

However, three wickets apiece for Linde – who opened the bowling with his left-arm spin - and Lizaad Williams restricted Pakistan's final score. Tabraiz Shamsi also played his part with the ball, recording figures of 1-22 from his four overs.

The two teams meet again in the third T20 at Centurion on Wednesday, with the series concluding at the same venue two days later.


Rare failure for Rizwan

Rizwan had posted scores of 74 not out, 42, 51, 104 not out and 89 in his previous five T20 appearances for Pakistan. However, the impressive run of form came to a rapid halt on Monday.

The wicketkeeper-batsman fell to the first ball of the game, an ambitious attempt to hit Linde over the top only providing catching practice for Markram at mid-off.

Opening case continues

Markram made sure South Africa had no issues with the required rate in reply, hitting seven fours and three sixes in a 30-ball knock.

The opening batsman has hit back-to-back half-centuries in the format now, furthering his case for a spot in the full-strength line-up ahead of the T20 World Cup later in the year.

Related items

  • Rodgers to leave Packers? Favre not optimistic NFL MVP will play for Green Bay again Rodgers to leave Packers? Favre not optimistic NFL MVP will play for Green Bay again

    Brett Favre is not optimistic star quarterback Aaron Rodgers will play for the Green Bay Packers again.

    Rodgers and his future in Green Bay has dominated headlines since the opening day of last week's NFL Draft, with the reigning MVP reportedly unhappy and seeking a Packers exit.

    The Packers have made it clear they are unwilling to trade the 37-year-old three-time MVP and Super Bowl champion.

    Hall of Famer and Packers great Favre spent the majority of his illustrious career in Green Bay, where he led the franchise to the Super Bowl before leaving in 2008, having been replaced by Rodgers.

    "Boy it's a good question; that's the million-dollar question," Favre told ESPN on Wednesday when asked about Rodgers' future.

    "I think I know Aaron fairly well, and honestly I just don't see him coming back and just saying, 'All right, let's just bury the hatchet, whatever caused the rift, and I'm just going to come back and play because I love the guys, I love the Green Bay fans' -- I assume he does -- but his rift isn't with the fans or the players.

    "It's with the front office. Will he just swallow his pride and come in? Maybe. But I don't see that happening.

    "If there's not a trade, my gut tells me that he'd rather sit out than play. That's just my gut. There's no reason for me to say that other than that's what my gut's telling me, and I think you guys know Aaron fairly well enough to sort of feel the same way."

    Rodgers amassed 48 touchdowns, five interceptions and a completion rate of 70.7 per cent for the Packers, who lost to eventual Super Bowl champions the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFC Championship Game last season.

    His quarterback rating of 121.5 puts him second on the all-time list among qualifiers, behind only his 2011 campaign (122.5).

    In total, Rodgers completed 372 of 526 attempts for 4,299 yards as the Packers topped the NFC North with a 13-3 record to clinch home-field advantage and the top seed in the NFC playoffs for the first time since 2011.

    Rodgers is now level with Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady, Favre, Johnny Unitas and Jim Brown with three MVP honours – only Peyton Manning (five) has more in NFL history.

    "I'd like to see him win a Super Bowl in Green Bay, another one," Favre said. "But the thing is, life's too short, I want him to be happy. He's been there as long as I was there, and I know what that means, and he's put up unbelievable numbers.

    "Win another Super Bowl and then do what you want to do, whether it's keep playing, play somewhere else, whatever. But win one more in Green Bay and go out the way you want to go out.

    "You don't want to go out this way, whether it's sit out or play somewhere else."

  • Hitless in Seattle: Masterful Means enters MLB history books with no-hitter Hitless in Seattle: Masterful Means enters MLB history books with no-hitter

    Baltimore Orioles ace John Means entered the MLB history books after throwing a no-hitter against the Seattle Mariners.

    Means threw the Orioles' first solo no-hitter since Jim Palmer in 1969 as Baltimore blanked the Mariners 6-0 on Wednesday.

    It was an almost perfect performance for Means, who retired all 27 batters he faced in Seattle but did allow a baserunner when Sam Haggerty reached on a third-strike wild pitch in the third inning.

    Means is the first pitcher to throw a non-perfect no-hitter in which the team did not record a walk, hit by pitch or error.

    According to Stats Perform, Means is also the second pitcher in American League (AL) history to throw a no-hitter with 12-plus strikeouts and 0 walks, joining Felix Fernandez – who had a perfect game in 2012.

    "I can't put it into words right now. It's unbelievable," the 28-year-old and 2019 All-Star said afterwards.

    "I felt OK all game. I didn't really have the changeup till the end, but I'm glad I got it going."

    Means produced the third no-hitter of the season and the 10th in franchise history.

    San Diego Padres ace Joe Musgrove and Chicago White Sox star Carlos Rodon have also pitched no-hitters in 2021.

  • Champions League history-maker Tuchel says sacrifice to join Chelsea 'worth it every single day' Champions League history-maker Tuchel says sacrifice to join Chelsea 'worth it every single day'

    Thomas Tuchel said the sacrifice of leaving his family to take on the challenge of managing Chelsea has been "worth it every single day" after making history by guiding them to the Champions League final.

    The Blues progressed to the final for the third time in their history as a 2-0 win over Real Madrid clinched a 3-1 aggregate victory and a place in the Istanbul showpiece against Premier League rivals Manchester City on May 29.

    In doing so, Tuchel became the first manager in the history of the Champions League and European Cup to reach the final in consecutive seasons with different teams. Tuchel led Paris Saint-Germain to the final last year, only to lose 1-0 to Bayern Munich.

    Chelsea will also contest the FA Cup final against Leicester City on May 15 and hold a three-point lead over fifth-placed West Ham in the race for the Premier League top four.

    Tuchel has lost only two of his 24 games (W16, D6) since taking charge in January and insists he immediately felt right at home at Stamford Bridge.

    "It was worth it every single day so far," Tuchel said of the sacrifice he made.

    "I was part of an amazing club from the first day, I felt huge support from day one. I'm very grateful to be at the sideline of this team."

    Chelsea took a 1-0 lead through Timo Werner's simple 28th-minute header after Kai Havertz had struck the crossbar, but spurned several chances to stretch their lead as Havertz twice went close and Mason Mount and N'Golo Kante wasted opportunities.

    But Mount made the tie safe five minutes from time, becoming the second youngest Englishman to score in the semi-finals of the Champions League – aged 22 years and 15 days – after Wayne Rooney (21 years 182 days).

    "The heads were never down, the heads were always up even after these big chances," added Tuchel.

    "We always stayed positive and we never regret something so it was fantastic. The job is not done yet, we are in two finals now, the sacrifice I personally gave was worth it since day one."

    Chelsea beat Pep Guardiola's City in the FA Cup semi-finals and will face them again in the league on Saturday.

    Tuchel rejected the notion of that victory giving Chelsea the upper hand ahead of the final but said of the Wembley win: "It gives us a good feeling, it gives us confidence.

    "We played that semi-final on the edge and we used it. I said before and I will say it always for me Bayern Munich throughout the last season with Manchester City, they are the benchmark.

    "We wanted to close the gap in this one match, the semi-final, which we did on a very impressive performance and we will need the same level of performance again.

    "It gave us belief, it gave us self-confidence for every game after that because it is the highest level you can face. We have these huge challenges in the Premier League, we have come out of it very, very strong, we showed mentality and quality in all of these matches.

    "We will arrive with self-confidence and with the positive energy in Istanbul. We will arrive in Istanbul to win, not to be one of the participants, we arrive to be focused to win." 

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.