Babar Azam proud of his ‘champions’ after making history in South Africa
PRETORIA: Pakistan skipper Babar Azam was over the moon after winning both the ODI and T20 series against South Africa and credited his fellow cricketers for making “history” during the tour.
“Magic happens when you refuse to give up. Well played @iMRizwanPak @FakharZamanLive @iFaheemAshraf and everyone involved,” an excited Azam tweeted following team’s victory in the final T20.
“Proud of you, champions!”
Earlier, Fakhar Zaman struck a blazing half-century as Pakistan 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.
Zaman then blasted 60 from 34 balls in Pakistan’s reply as he put on 91 for the second wicket with 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 were also some poor shots.