Proteas claim easy win in second T20 against Pakistan
JOHANNESBURG – Dwaine Pretorius registered the best figures by a South African in a T20 International, as the Proteas claimed a comfortable victory in the second T20 match against Pakistan in Lahore on Saturday.
South Africa produced another very good showing with the ball, backed up by one of the better fielding performances seen from a Proteas team in any format this season. The 31 year old allrounder, who rejigged his action in the extended off-season to help him get some extra pace, was outstanding on a fresh pitch at the Gaddafi Stadium.
South Africa’s plans were well thought through, and most importantly well executed.
Pretorius, changed length and pace cleverly, while in his last over in particular he made good use of the full delivery wide of off-stump.
JJ Smuts did a useful job with his left-arm spin, bowling the ball hard into the surface to cramp the Pakistan batsmen. The left-arm wrist spinner Tabriaz Shamsi produced a world class performance as well, with his line in particular accurate throughout a fine spell, in which he picked up one wickets, conceded 16 runs, with 10 dot balls
Pretorius finished with 5/17, eclipsing Ryan McLaren’s figures of 5/19 as the best by a South African bowler in a T20 International.
“The plan was to bowl ‘change ups’ and change lengths, just to make them guess,” Pretorius said in a television interview at the halfway mark. ”We felt we played really good cricket in the first game and wanted to be really switched on out there tonight and to show good body language.”
The bowlers were supported by a high class fielding performance. South Africa made just two mistakes both coming late in Pakistan’s innings – including Smuts dropping Faheem Ashraf in the last over. Otherwise, there were two superb catches - a diving effort on the boundary from Lutho Sipamla to get rid of Haider Ali, and Dave Miller holding onto a ‘moon shot’ to dismiss Iftikhar Ahmed – while the ground fielding was clean with lots of athletic stops.
Despite the loss of two early wickets, South Africa made light work of the chase. Reeza Hendricks played some classy shots – the best of which was a lofted cover drive for six off a googly bowled by leggie Usman Qaidir – in an innings of 42 (30b, 3x4, 3x6).
He shared a partnership of 77 for the third wicket with Pite van Biljon, which broke the back of the chase for the Proteas. Van Biljon also made 42, (32b, 3x4, 2x6).
Both were excellent against the Pakistani spinners, looking to put them under pressure early in the over and taking advantage of some loose balls that were on offer.
South Africa ultimately got to the target with 22 balls to spare, squaring the series 1-1.
The deciding match in the series will be played on Sunday.