Dwaine Pretorius’ best bowling was too good for Pakistan as South Africa levelled the T20 series with a six-wicket victory and 22 balls to spare at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore on Saturday.
Man of the match Pretorius claimed 5-17 as Pakistan were restricted to 144 for seven in their 20 overs after Heinrich Klaasen had won the toss and asked the home side to bat first.
As Pretorius was on the rampage, only Mohammad Rizawan provided any resistance to the landslide as the right-handed opener top-scored with 51 from 41 balls with six fours and a six, following on from his unbeaten 104 in the first T20.
Faheen Ashraf was the only other Pakistan batsman to provide any real impetus to the scoreboard as the allrounder clubbed two fours and two sixes from 12 balls to end unbeaten on 30 at the backend of the innings, which helped the home side reach 144 after looking at not making 130.
Pretorius has started the rot with his second ball of his first over when he had the Pakistan captain, Babar Azam, trapped in front for just five. Andile Phehlukwayo (3-0-31-1) then had Haider Ali (10) caught on the square leg fence by Lutho Sipmala before Tabraiz Shamsi (4-0-16-1) had Hussain Talat reverse-sweeping straight to Pite van Biljon at backward point.
Rizawan and Iftikhan Ahmed (20) then presented some stableness to the innings with a 45-run stand but then a brilliant piece of fielding from David Miller brought an end to the stand with a great catch running in from the deep mid-wicket boundary off the bowling of Pretorius.
Pretorius then dismissed Khushdi; Shah (15), edging behind to Klaasen before a double-wicket effort in his final over which saw the back of Rizwan, caught on the long-off fence by Phehlukwayo and the clean-bowling Mohammad Nawaz without scoring.
Pretorius’ effort was the best for South Africa in a T20 international as well as the best bowling on Pakistan soil and the best against Pakistan, beating Tim Southee’s effort of 5-18 in Auckland.
In reply, Shaheen Afridi (3-1-18-2) made sure of a difficult start as he dismissed Janneman Malan for just four before having Jon-Jon Smuts caught by Azam at mid-off for just seven.
But Reeza Hendricks (42) and Pite van Biljon (42) made sure the chase reached an easy phase with a 77-run stand for the third wicket off just 54 deliveries to leave the visitors requiring just 47 runs off 53 balls. Hendricks, who scored a fifty in a losing cause in the first T20, struck three boundaries and three maximums off 30 balls before being caught on the long-on fence by Ahmed off Usman Qadir (4-0-43-1).
Van Biljon fell shortly thereafter, popping a ball from Mohammad Nawaz (4-0-27-1) straight back to the bowler after being given a life on 24 by Qaadir, who was stumped off a no-ball.
With Miller (25 not out) and Klaasen (17 not out) fresh at the crease, the pair saw to it that the visitors went into tomorrow’s third and final T20 with all to play for, scoring 40 off 25 balls for the unbeaten fifth wicket with Miller striking two fours and a six off 19 balls while Klaasen stuck three boundaries off nine balls as South Africa reached 145 for four with 22 balls remaining in the innings.
After having lost the test series 2-0, the Proteas will be looking to round of their Pakistan tour with a victory in the final match and clinch the T20 series in the final game on Sunday.
**As first published on Supersport.com