Pakistan players and support staff celebrate their series victory after the fourth T20. AFP
Pakistan beat South Africa by three wickets with one ball to spare in the fourth and final Twenty20 international South Africa at SuperSport Park in Centurion on Friday. It clinched a 3-1 series win for the tourists.
Pakistan seemed to be cruising when they reached 92 for one in the 10th over after bowling out South Africa for 144 on what is usually a high-scoring ground.
But six wickets fell for 27 runs after Fakhar Zaman was out for a hard-hit 60 off 34 balls before Mohammad Nawaz sealed the win with a six off the penultimate ball. Pakistan's 3-1 series win completed a clean sweep of four successful series against South Africa during the season.
They won Test and T20 series in Pakistan and a one-day and T20 series in South Africa.
Faheem Ashraf poses with the 'Man of the Match' trophy. AFP
Earlier, Pakistan medium-pace bowler Faheem Ashraf sparked a South African collapse. Ashraf took three for 17 as South Africa, who were put into bat after losing the toss, were bowled out for 144 on what is usually a high-scoring ground.
South Africa had reached 73 for one after the early loss of Aiden Markram when Ashraf had Janneman Malan caught at mid-off for 33 in the ninth over.
Pakistan cricketers take part in a prayer after victory in the fourth T20. AFP
Ashraf followed up with the wickets of South African captain Heinrich Klaasen and George Linde. He bowled his four overs in succession and did not concede a boundary.
Fast bowlers Hasan Ali and Haris Rauf took three for 40 and two for 18 respectively. Rassie van der Dussen top-scored for South Africa with 52 off 36 balls.
Pakistan chased down a target of 204 with nine wickets and two overs to spare on the same ground two days earlier. Captain Babar Azam, who scored 122 in that run chase, named an unchanged side while South Africa made two changes.
Mohammad Nawaz (L) runs between the wickets as Lizaad Williams looks on. AFP
All-rounder Wiaan Mulder and left-arm spinner Bjorn Fortuin came into the side, replacing batsman Pite van Biljon and left-arm fast bowler Beuran Hendricks.
Earlier, Pakistan won the toss and decided to bowl first. South African captain Heinrich Klaasen had said he would have preferred to bowl. “It looks a good wicket again,” he said.
South Africa made two changes, with all-rounder Wiaan Mulder and left-arm spinner Bjorn Fortuin replacing batsman Pite van Biljon and left-arm fast bowler Beuran Hendricks.
Rassie van der Dussen plays a reverse sweep shot as Mohammad Rizwan looks on. AFP
South African captain Heinrich Klaasen said he would have preferred to bowl. "It looks a good wicket again," he said.
South Africa 144 in 19.3 overs (H. van der Dussen 52, J. Malan 33; Faheem Ashraf 3-17) v
Pakistan 149-7 in 19.5 overs (Fakhar Zaman 60; S. Magala 2-33).
Result: Pakistan won by three wickets
Series: Pakistan won the four-match series 3-1
South Africa: Heinrich Klaasen (captain, wkt), Aiden Markram, Janneman Malan, Rassie van der Dussen, George Linde, Andile Phehlukwayo, Wiaan Mulder, Sisanda Magala, Bjorn Fortuin, Lizaad Williams, Tabraiz Shamsi
Pakistan: Babar Azam (captain), Mohammad Rizwan (wkt), Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Hafeez, Haider Ali, Asif Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Mohammad Nawaz, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf
Umpires: Shaun George, Adrian Holdstock (both RSA)
Television umpire: Allahudien Paleker (RSA)
Match referee: Andy Pycroft (ZIM)
South Africa need 19 runs to win off the last over, but medium pacer Faheem Ashraf held his nerves to keep the visitors down to 166-6 while Bjorn Fortuin (17 not out) and Dwaine Pretorius (15 not out) could manage only 15.
Tail-ender Hasan Ali finished with a seven-ball 20 not out as Pakistan overhauled a 165-run target in 18.4 overs to win the series 2-1, South Africa's first T20I series defeat in Asia. South Africa had previously won five and drawn one T20I series in Asia.
Babar Azam hit a sensational 122 from 59 balls to lead Pakistan to 205-1 for a resounding nine-wicket win over South Africa and a 2-1 lead in their Twenty20 series on Wednesday.
I am not going to make excuses. We've still got to try and win with whichever players we put on the park but it has been tough. There have been a lot of positives. With the opportunities that have been given, a couple of guys have come through with flying colours," he said
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