Markram, Malan punish Pakistan in third T20
South Africa's Aiden Markram plays a shot as Pakistan's wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan looks on during the third Twenty20 between South Africa and Pakistan at SuperSport Park in Centurion. AFP
Opening batsmen Aiden Markram and Janneman Malan set up South Africa for a big total with punishing half-centuries in the third Twenty20 international against Pakistan at SuperSport Park in Centurion on Wednesday.
South Africa made 203 for five after being sent in. The four-match series is tied at 1-1.
Markram (63) and Malan (55) hit powerfully to put on 108 for the first wicket before Markram was bowled by left-arm spinner Mohammad Nawaz off the fourth ball of the 11th over.
It was Markram’s third successive half-century, a feat achieved previously for South Africa only by Hashim Amla in T20 internationals. Markram hit six fours and four sixes in a 31-ball innings.
Malan faced 40 balls and hit five fours and two sixes in making his maiden T20 international half-century.
Pakistan surprisingly left out leg-spinner Usman Qadir, the most successful bowler in their defeat in the second match, which left captain Babar Azam with only five bowlers, who each had to bowl a full quota of four overs at a venue where high totals are frequent.
Nawaz, the only slow bowler in the line-up, dismissed both openers and contributed to the South African innings briefly losing momentum after the opening partnership. Nawaz took two for 38.
Earlier, Pakistan captain Babar Azam Wednesday won the toss and elected to field first in the third fixture of the four-match T20I series.
Pakistan and South Africa are hoping to trounce each other in today’s game, with each side hoping to secure a 2-1 lead in the ongoing T20I series.
Pakistan made three changes to the team that lost the second T20 against South Africa. A recovered Fakhar Zaman is back in place of Sharjeel Khan, while Haris Rauf replaces Mohammad Hasnain. Pakistan have also strengthened their batting, with Asif Ali replacing Usman Qadir.
There was also big news for South Africa as Rassie van der Dussen is back after recovering from his quadriceps injury. He replaced Wihan Lubbe.
South Africa: 203-5 in 20 overs (J. Malan 55, A. Markram 63; Mohammad Nawaz 2-38)
Match situation: Pakistan need 204 runs to win
South Africa: Aiden Makram, Janneman Malan, Rassie van der Dussen, Heinrich Klaasen, Pite van Biljon, George Linde, Andile Phehlukwayo, Sisanda Magala, Beuran Hendricks, Lizaad Williams, Tabraiz Shamsi.
Pakistan: Mohammad Rizwan, Babar Azam, Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Hafeez, Haider Ali, Asif Ali, Mohammad Nawaz, Faheem Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf.