Lahore, Feb 11 (IANS) Mohammad Rizwan’s unbeaten 104 helped Pakistan beat South Africa by three runs in the first T20 International at the Gaddafi Stadium here on Thursday. Rizwan became only the second Pakistani player and fifth wicketkeeper batsman to score a century in T20 internationals as Pakistan took a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.
South Africa, however, nearly pulled off the chase, scoring 166/6 in reply to Pakistan’s 169/6. The visitors were off the a flying start with openers Reeza Hendricks and Janneman Malan putting up a 53-run stand in the first seven overs.
Spinner Usman Qadir then put a break to the partnership, dismissing Malan for 44. Qadir continued stifle the South Africans for runs, conceding just two runs in the ninth over and dismissing Jacques Snyman.
Qadir’s spell kept Pakistan ahead and Hendricks’s run out on 54 thanks to a brilliant effort from Rizwan. Andile Phehlukwayo , Dwaine Pretorius and Bjorn Fortuin all tried to hit out late on. There were too many runs to get at that stage and Pakistan held on.
Earlier, Rizwan, fresh from recording a maiden Test hundred for the Asian side earlier this week, clubbed seven sixes and six fours in an unbeaten 104 off 64 balls. His effort helped the hosts amass 169 for six after they lost the toss and were asked to bat first by the visitors.
Brief scores: Pakistan 169/6 in 20 overs (Mohammad Rizwan 104 not out, Haider Ali 21; Andile Phehlukwayo 2/33) beat South Africa 166/6 in 20 overs (Reeza Hendricks 54, Janneman Malan 44; Usman Qadir 2/21) by three runs