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February 6, 2019

Pakistan look for consolation win in final Twenty20


February 6, 2019

CENTURION: After losing the first two Twenty20 Internationals by slim margins, Pakistan will want to go all the way in the third and final match against South Africa at the SuperSport Park here on Wednesday (today).

The two games so far have been evenly contested to a large extent, but South Africa have just been able to close out games better, earning themselves a series victory.Pakistan will look for a consolation win, and in order to do that they must continue playing the way have and hold their nerve better in the death stages.

In the first match in Cape Town, Pakistan did well enough to get within six runs of South Africa’s 192. Then in Johannesburg, they seemed in complete control in their chase of 189 after Babar Azam’s 90 and Hussain Talat’s 55, but a flurry of wickets dented their momentum and they eventually lost out by seven runs.

Pakistan batsmen’s biggest nemesis has been Andile Phehlukwayo. The deceptive Phehlukwayo has managed to keep the explosive Pakistan batsmen at bay. He masterfully defended 15 off the final over in the previous game, conceding just seven runs and taking a couple of wickets too.

Pakistan will also be wary of South Africa’s stand-in captain David Miller. His stunning performance in the field (four catches and two run-outs) earned him the Player of the Match in the first game. In Johannesburg, he came good with the bat, slamming an unbeaten 65 from just 29 deliveries to bolster South Africa’s score to 188-3.

Top-order batsmen like Reeza Hendricks and Rassie van der Dussen have also been among the runs, and Pakistan will look to keep them at bay. Pakistan’s batsmen, Babar in particular, too have been in incredible form.

The stylish right-hander has scored 128 from the two games at a strike-rate of 150.58. Others like Hussain and Shoaib Malik have also scored runs, but Pakistan will want more from the middle and lower-middle order.

Apart from Phehlukwayo, Beuran Hendricks and Chris Morris have also been among the wickets for Proteas. For Pakistan, left-arm spinner Imad Wasim has bowled superbly, conceding just 32 runs from his eight overs at an economy rate of just four.

The match will draw curtains on Pakistan’s lengthy tour, and having lost the Test series and the ODI series prior to this, they will be desperate to finish off on a high to leave for home on a positive note.

Today’s match

Pakistan vs South Africa 09:00 pm (PST)

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