Rizwan dazzling century guides Pakistan to exciting win in 1st T20I v SAF

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Mohammed Rizwain continues to add to his reputation with an excellent century vs South Africa in Pakistan’s narrow 3 run win over the Proteas that went done to the wire .  South Africa made a valiant attempt to chase down 170 target on a pitch that was gripping but in the end fell short by just 3 runs.

Batting first , Pakistan suffered an early jolt as skipper Babar Azam was runout off his own call for a sharp single. However , unflustered , Mohammed Rizwan looked in total control and soon started to time his shots . He scored a match deciding  century vs South Africa in the 2nd test  and so was full of confidence , unleashing many dazzling shots after getting acquainted with the pitch . Always a fine puller he hit some gorgeous shots on the onside. His pickup shot for a 6 , a savage pull for another 6 and a gorgeous lofted off drive for a 3rd 6 was worth travelling miles to watch. 

However Pakistan continued to lose wickets at other end and only Haider Ali (21) managed a good stand with Rizwan in mid innings . The balls were gripping and Shamsi bowled a fine spell of 20 runs off 4 overs getting spin off the wicket and dismissing lefthander Hussain Talat (15) cheaply with a classic away going delivery getting him stumped. Phehlukwayo (2/33)  mixed up his slower balls to restrict the opposition .  Thus inspite of Rizwan’s gallant unbeaten 104 off 64 balls , Pakistan could score no more than 169/6.

South Africa started in great style with Janneman Malan and Reeza Hendricks taking on the strong Pakistan bowling with a quick 53 run first with stand . Malan was playing sparkling shots particularly on the onside finding the gaps . As the partnership threatened to get big , Usman Qadir , son of late Abdul Qadir , the illustrious leg spinner of Pakistan in 1980s , bowled a beautiful leg spinner to Malan (44 off 29 balls) that pitched , spun away and hit off stump for a vital breakthrough.  That helped Pakistan to fight back as with the pitch gripping , the South African middle order was found wanting and they gradually lost their way with Qadir bowling an inspired spell getting 2/21 off 4 overs . Haris Raif too got a couple of important wickets though he went for a few runs .  Much was expected from David Miller (6) and skipper Klaasen (12) both both perished with low scores . Phehlukwayo could not sustain his aggression ( 14 off 8 balls) . The pressure got too much on Hendricks who finally departed after a fine 54 off 42 balls as the asking rate went up rapidly . 

However allrounders Pretorius and Fortuin had other ideas as they made a final dash at the runs in last few overs which ended up with South Africa needing 19 off the final over to be bowled by Faheem Ashraf . 

After two singles of 1st two balls , the 3rd ball was hoised by Pretorius (15) for a 6 over longon. 4th ball yielded a single.  Off the 5th ball Fortuin hit a four through  fine leg and the Proteas needed just a 6 of final ball. However Fortuin (17) could not do a Javed Miandad as he could manage only 2 off the yorker length final ball . Pakistan victorious by 3 runs in an exciting match.

Rizwan for his matchwinning hundred was the forgone conclusion for Man of the match award. 

Brief scores : 

Pakistan  169/6 ( 20 overs)

Rizwan           104 * (64)

Haider Ali         21(16)

Phehlukwayo    2/33

Shamsi               1/20

South Africa    166/6  (20 overs) 

Hendricks          54(42) 

Malan                 44 (29)

Usman Qadir    2/21

Haris Rauf         2/44

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