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Babar-Rizwan record partnership guides Pakistan to crushing win

  • Babar scores his maiden hundred, only the third Pakistani to score a century in this format

Centurion, 14 April 2021: A 197-run opening stand between Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan guided Pakistan to an emphatic nine-wicket win over South Africa at the SuperSport Park in Centurion on Wednesday. Pakistan lead the four-match T20I series 2-1, with final match to be played at the same venue on Friday 16 April.

The day belongs to Babar, who earlier in the day was named the number-one ranked ODI batsman in the ICC Rankings and later in the evening struck his maiden T20I century.

Chasing 204 to win, Babar and Rizwan played shots all across the ground and their power hitting were a treat to watch for the fans. Babar brought up his hundred off just 49 balls, not before getting out scoring 122 off 59 balls. His innings included 15 fours and four sixes. Babar’s 122 was highest individual score for a Pakistani batsman in this format surpassing Rizwan’s 104 not out and Ahmed Shehzad’s 111 not out.

His partner, Rizwan remained unbeaten on 73 off 47 balls, hitting five fours and two sixes.

The visitors chased down the target in the 18th over, their highest run-chase in T20I matches.

Earlier, after being put into bat, South Africa scored 203 for five. Aiden Markram top-scored with 63 off 51, hitting six fours and four sixes. Janeman Malan was other notable run-getter with a 40-ball 55, laced with five fours and two sixes. The opening pair of Markram and Malan added 108 runs.

Late onslaught from Rassie van der Dussen helped the hosts cross the 200-mark. He returned undefeated on 34 off 20, smashing one four and two sixes.

For Pakistan, Mohammad Nawaz took two wickets for 38. Faheem Ashraf, Hasan Ali and Shaheen Shah Afridi took a wicket each.

Scores in brief

South Africa 203-5, 20 overs (Aiden Markram 63, Janeman Malan 55, Rassie van der Dussen 34 not out; Mohammad Nawaz 2-38)

Pakistan 205-1, 18 overs (Babar Azam 122, Mohammad Rizwan 73 not out)

Result Pakistan won by nine wickets