Fast bowler Dwaine Pretorius posted top marks for South Africa in the shortest format to help his team beat Pakistan by six wickets in the second Twenty20 international in Lahore on Saturday. The 31-year-old took 5-17 to hold Pakistan back to 144-7 in 20 overs before Pite van Biljon (42) and Reeza Hendricks (42) took South Africa past the modest goal in 16.2 overs. It was a handsome performance by Pretorius that marginally improved from a South African’s previous best scores, 5-19 by mediocre pacer Ryan McLaren against the West Indies at North Sound in 2010.
Mohammad Rizwan scored the highest score for Pakistan with a 41-ball 51 with six boundaries and a six, while Faheem Ashraf hit two boundaries and an equal number of sixes in his 12-ball 30.
Lanky gangster Shaheen Shah Afridi from Pakistan gave his team an ideal start by sending Janneman Malan away with the second ball of the innings and Jon-Jon Smuts in the next game, finishing 2-18 in three overs.
But Hendricks and Biljon rebuked some erratic bowling in their 77-run third wicket grandstand before both falling into consecutive overs.
Hendricks, who hit three sixes and as many boundaries in his 30-ball knockout, was eventually caught in the 12th over from leg-spinner Usman Qadir. Billon hit two sixes and three 32 ball boundaries before sending a soft leading edge back to left arm spinner Mohammad Nawaz.
David Miller (25 not out) and skipper Heinrich Klaasen (17 not out) added 40 in a continuous fifth wicket position to see their team cross the line.
“I am happy that I contributed to the win,” said Pretorius. “We had a plan for bowling and we did it well for this great win.”
The series decider is also in Lahore on Sunday.
“It will be a big night on Sunday and I hope we can achieve a series victory”, said Klaasen.
Pakistan was waived again by Rizwan who followed his 89 against New Zealand in December and 104 who didn’t come out in the first game with another great knockout.
After losing the toss, Pakistani skipper Babar Azam opened the batter, but he was soon on his way back to the pavilion when Pretorius pinched him in the second over earlier.
With 48-6, the home side struggled, but Rizwan, who only became the fifth Pakistani hitter to score three consecutive T20I fifties, added 45 for the fourth wicket with Iftikhar Ahmed making 20.
Mohammad Hafeez (twice), Shahid Afridi, Umar Akmal and Azam have previously hit three fifties in consecutive T20I matches.
Rizwan eventually took off to 51 and ran to Andile Phehlukwayo after falling for a slower ball from Pretorius.
Pretorius also removed Iftikhar and Khushdil Shah for 15 before chasing Nawaz for a second ball duck, as he took more than one wicket for the first time in his 13-match T20 international career.
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