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Proteas win nail-biter against Pakistan at Wanderers

South Africa handed international debuts to opener Janneman Malan and 20-year-old quick Lutho Sipamla.

South Africa's captain David Miller (L) celebrates with teammate Beuran Hendricks (2L) after getting the wicket of unseen Pakistan batsman Fakhar Zaman during the second T20 cricket match between South Africa and Pakistan at The Wanderers Cricket Stadium in Johannesburg on 3 February 2019. Picture: AFP

CAPE TOWN - Babar Azam’s batting masterclass was not enough as South Africa’s death bowling proved too good as they beat Pakistan by 7 runs at the Wanderers.

South Africa handed international debuts to opener Janneman Malan and 20-year-old quick Lutho Sipamla.

Pakistan won the toss and elected to field at a ground known for exciting chases.

Malan (33 off 31 balls) and Reeza Hendricks (28 off 27 balls) got the Proteas off to a solid start with a 58 run partnership although there were a number of dot balls within their Powerplay.

Once the openers were dismissed Rassie van der Dussen continued his impressive beginning to his international career with a well made 45 (27 balls).

However, it was stand-in captain David Miller who really got stuck into the Pakistan attack blasting his way to 65 not out off just 29 balls, his late flourish at the back end helped South Africa to a competitive total of 188-3 in their 20 overs.

In their reply, Pakistan were on the front foot from the first over and were flying by the end of the Powerplay with the score at 70-1 after 6 overs.

At that stage Azam was on 46 (23 balls), he found an ideal foil in Hussain Talat who was happy to play second fiddle while Babar showed young batsman that you can be just as effective as anyone playing "proper" cricket strokes.

Just 10 shy of a deserved century, Beuran Hendricks got his second wicket dismissing Azam for 90 off 58 balls, Pakistan were 147-2 needing 42 from 23 balls.

South Africa smelling an opening now were refocused as Asif Ali became the third wicket to fall with just 31 runs needed, it was game on as far the home team were concerned.

Shoaib Malik joined the impressive Talat at the crease, with just 12 balls (two overs) remaining and 7 wickets in hand Pakistan needed 27 runs and he smashed a four off Morris to take him to a superb half-century.

On the back foot after a conceding a boundary on the first ball of the over, Chris Morris clean bowled him two balls later and got hit for another boundary but returned with a wicket of Talat - two boundaries and two wickets in a dramatic over.

Andile Phehlukwayo stepped up to bowl the last over with 15 needed, the all-rounder relishes the pressure situations and after conceding a boundary off the first ball he picked up two wickets to ensure South Africa win by 7 runs.

Phehlukwayo ended with three wickets, Morris and Hendricks with two while debutant Sipamla was the most economical going at under six an over.

The Proteas wrapped up the series 2-0 with one more to play.

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