Dwaine Pretorius (5/17) was the hero as South Africa convincingly beat Pakistan by 6 wickets with 22 balls to spare to win the 2nd T20I at Lahore and level the series 1-1 . In a quick turnaround the 3rd and decider match will be played tomorrow (14 Feb) to decide the series at the same venue.
Pakistan batted first and were soon rattled with the cheap wicket of Babar Azam(5) who missed an almost straight delivery from Pretorius to be lbw which started a continuous fall of wickets as Haider (10) , Talat(3) and Ifthikar (20) could not consolidate while Mohammed Rizwan , hero of 1st game , held on playing yet another amazing innings full of sparkling shots . The South African bowlers specially Shamsi and Pretorius kept the Pakistanis on a leash with some great middle overs , varying the line and pace and choking the run rate and not allowing the home side to get away . Rizwan batted in a different zone stroking all round the wicket and one particular straight drive of his was awesome to watch .
Finally when Rizwan fell , Pakistan got into deeper trouble with 97/5 in 15 overs . However Faheem Ashraf , the fast maturing allrounder played with skill scoring a belligerent unbeaten 30 off 12 balls with 2 fours and 2 sixes to boost the Pakistan score to 144 /7 off 20 overs while at one stage they looked to struggle to reach 130.
For South Africa , Pretorius was the star with 5/17 off 4 overs while Shamsi was economical with 1/16 off 4 overs.
South Africa in reply were jolted by a fiery Shaheen Afridi who reduced them to 2/21 at start with Janneman Malan(4) and Smuts (7) falling cheaply. However Reeza Hendricks (42) and Van Biljon (42) scored at more than a run a ball playing some exciting shots in a 77 run stand, playing spin well which effectively took the game out of Pakistan ‘s reach.
Though both of them were dismissed in quick succession , David Miller ( 25 off 19 balls ) and Klaasen (17 off 9 balls ) ensured no further damage at the end with a flurry of attacking shots finishing the game with 22 balls to spare.
Pretorius for his bowling heroics was the man of the match as South Africa squared the series 1-1 .
Pakistan 144/7 ( 20 overs)
Faheem 30 (12)
South Africa 145/4 (16.2 overs)
Reeza Hendricks 42(30)
Van Biljon 42(32)
Shaheen Afridi 2/18
** By Amitava Mukherjee