Tail-ender Hasan Ali skipped two sixes in the penultimate to help Pakistan reach the T20 international series against South Africa, with a four-wicket win in the third and final game in Lahore on Sunday. Hasan finished with a seven-ball 20 not out when Pakistan snapped a 165-run goal in 18.4 overs to win the series 2-1 and submit South Africa to their first T20I series defeat in Asia. South Africa had previously won five and drawn one T20I series in Asia. South Africa’s late blip meant David Miller’s robust 85 didn’t come out and spinner Tabraiz Shamsi’s four wickets, which seemed to have put the tourists on their way to victory, were in vain.
Miller hit seven sixes and five fours from just 45 balls to lift South Africa from a staggering 48-6. He helped add 116 for the last four wickets, bringing South Africa to 164-8.
Shamsi then registered numbers of 4-25 in four sharp overs, and Pakistan needed 53 runs from the last six overs, adding up to 28 from the last three.
Needing 16 from the last two overs, Andile Phehlukwayo threw a medium no-ball that Hasan hit for six to relieve the pressure. He then hit a four and a six to seal the victory.
Mohammad Nawaz finished with 18 ‘not out’, while skipper Babar Azam scored 44 and Mohammad Rizwan made 42 in form.
Pakistan, which opened with Haider Ali in place of Azam, raced to 51 runs from 6.1 overs before Shamsi Haider (15) finished, removing Rizwan leg-before and Hussain Talat for five archery to stop the home team’s progress.
Rizwan, who hit 104 not out and 51 in the first two games, hit seven limits, including two towering sixes, from 30 balls.
Pakistan won the first game by three runs, while South Africa won the second by six wickets, both also playing in Lahore.
South Africa lost their first six wickets to 48 and their seventh at 64.
Nawaz dismissed Reeza Hendricks (two) and Jon-Jon Smuts (one). Then rookie Zahid Mahmood removed Heinrich Klaasen (zero) and Janneman Malan (27) from consecutive deliveries in his first over.
When Phehlukwayo went for a duck, South Africa had lost four wickets for seven runs in just nine balls.
Miller added 17 runs for the eighth wicket with Bjorn Fortuin (10) before adding 58 more for the next wicket in just five overs, with Lutho Sipamla not scoring eight.
Miller hit four sixes in the last over bowled by Faheem Ashraf, for 25.
Leg spinner Mahmood took 3-40, left arm spinner Nawaz took 2-13 and paceman Hasan finished 2-29.
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