2nd Test, Day 1 Report: Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane silence critics, resurrect India
13 Feb 2021
Dwaine Pretorius bowled the spell of his life picking five wickets for just 17 runs in his four overs quota to break the back of the Pakistani batting lineup at Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore. Riding on his brilliant performance, the South Africa team chased down a minuscule total of 145 with 22 balls remaining and six wickets in hand.
With this win, the South Africans have now pushed the series into the decider which will take place on Sunday, 14th February. The figures of Pretorius were also the best for any South African bowler in T20I cricket. Not only that, but they were also the best against Pakistan for any bowler and counted as a first five-for in T20i cricket on the Pakistani soil.
Skipper Heinrich Klassen and David Miller remained not out at the crease at 17 and 25 respectively when the winning shot was hit. The opening batsmen didn’t start the chase in a manner that the Proteas would have wanted with Janneman Malan getting dismissed in the very first over. Soon after JJ Smuts became the second victim of Shaheen Afridi.
But after that, the South African pair of Reeza Hendricks and Pite Van Bijon didn’t offer any chance to the Pakistanis, adding 77 runs in just 53 balls to take the game away from the opposition. There was a chance when Hendricks was bowled by last match hero Usman Qadir. But it turned out to be a no-ball, sinking Pakistani hopes further down.
When the wicket finally fell, it was too little too late for the home team. Qadir, the Trump card for the Babar Azam led team was taken for cleaners, vanishing any hopes of a comeback for the Pakistanis after a horrific batting display.
Earlier in the evening, South Africa once again won the toss and decided to bowl first. The pitch was really slow in the first innings and the Proteas bowlers made good use of it. Babar Azam failed once again, getting plumbed in front of the wicket. Mohammad Rizwan tried to hold one end up, but couldn’t accelerate the run rate as the South African spinners, especially Tabrez Shamsi choked the flow of runs by bowling very tight line. Pretorius too varied his peace brilliantly.
At one point in the game, Pakistan could score only 12 runs in four overs. Tanks to Faheem Asharaf’s 12 balls 30 that Pakistan was able to reach a fighting total of 144 in their 20 overs. Rizwan top-scored with 51 off 41 balls.