Fakhar flays S.Africa as Pakistan seal T20 series with nervy win


FILE PHOTO: Cricket - Second T20 International - England v Pakistan - Emirates Old Trafford, Manchester, Britain - August 30, 2020 Pakistan's Fakhar Zaman in action Mike Hewitt/Pool via REUTERS

PRETORIA (Reuters) - Pakistan's Fakhar Zaman struck a blazing half-century as they survived a scare to seal a three-wicket victory over depleted South Africa with a ball to spare and win the four-match Twenty20 International series 3-1 on Friday.

South Africa, missing most of their regular players either through injury or having been released to play in the Indian Premier League, were sent in to bat but could only muster 144 all out in 19.3 overs.

Fakhar then blasted 60 from 34 balls in Pakistan’s reply as he put on 91 for the second wicket with captain Babar Azam (24 from 23), and at that stage the tourists were cruising to victory needing 53 from 65 balls with nine wickets in hand.

But when both were out in one over from seamer Lizaad Williams (2-39), a flurry of wickets and some tight bowling brought South Africa back into the game.

The winning runs were eventually scored by Mohammad Nawaz (25 from 21) as he hooked Williams to the mid-wicket boundary for six off the penultimate ball of the match to complete a memorable series win.

Only three players reached double figures in South Africa’s innings, with Rassie van der Dussen (52 from 36) and Janneman Malan (33 from 28) the major contributors.

They were held in check by some excellent seam bowling from Faheem Ashraf (3-17 in four overs), Hasan Ali (3-40) and Haris Rauf (2-18) but, as has been the case throughout the series, there was also some poor shot selection.

Full-strength Pakistan also won the three-match One-Day International series 2-1.

(Reporting by Nick Said; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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