Twitter Reactions: Mohammad Rizwan’s calm demeanour guides Pakistan to win in opener against South Africa

Twitter Reactions: Mohammad Rizwan’s calm demeanour guides Pakistan to win in opener against South Africa

Babar Azam and Co also registered their highest ever run-chase in T20Is.

Mohammad Rizwan
Mohammad Rizwan. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The opening T20I between Pakistan and South Africa turned out to be a high-scoring thriller. At the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg, both teams fought tooth and nail to come out trumps. But in the end, Babar Azam’s men won by four wickets with one ball left and took a much-needed 1-0 lead in the four-game series. It also happened to be Pakistan’s highest ever chase in the T20I format.

Klaasen and Markram make hay

The Proteas got off to a blazing start after they opted to bat first. Janneman Malan smashed his way to a 16-ball 24 with some audacious strokes off Shaheen Shah Afridi. But Mohammad Nawaz trapped him plumb in front to send him packing. Wihan Lubbe, on T20I debut, got out cheaply to Hasan Ali. But Aiden Markram and skipper Heinrich Klaasen steadied the ship to some extent.

The duo put on 62 runs for the third wicket off 33 balls to put the hosts back on the driver’s seat. Nawaz got rid of Markram, who got a 32-ball 51, to separate the duo. Nevertheless, Klaasen carried on with the good work and scored 50 runs off 28 balls, helping his team to 188 for six in 20 overs. Apart from Nawaz, Hasan also picked two wickets. Haris Rauf and Afridi got one wicket each.

Mohammad Rizwan shows his class

Pakistan had a decent start as well after Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam stitched together a 41-run stand for the opening wicket. Beuran Hendricks broke the partnership, picking up the wicket of Babar, who hit three fours to a run-a-ball 14. Fakhar Zaman, then, joined Rizwan and made sure that the required rate wasn’t allowed to escalate much. In the last 10 overs, the visitors needed 103 off 60 balls.

Zaman got out to Tabraiz Shamsi soon after scoring 27 off 19, but Rizwan got to his fifty off 34 deliveries. Shami nipped out Mohammad Hafeez to put more pressure on the Pakistan batting. With 57 required off the last 30 balls, Beuran Hendricks got rid of Haider Ali and Mohammad Nawaz.

The onus was then on Rizwan and Faheem Ashraf to help Pakistan gain momentum. Once they found their feet, they took their team to victory. Rizwan stayed unbeaten on 74 runs off 50 balls with nine fours and two sixes. Faheem Ashraf’s 14-ball 30 also propelled the visiting team.

Here’s how the netizens reacted to Pakistan’s win: