Pakistan held on for a close six-run win in the second Twenty20 on Friday to end a six-game losing streak to South Africa in limited-overs games.
Shahid Afridi’s 3-28 backed up earlier half-centuries by Umar Akmal and captain Mohammad Hafeez as Pakistan successfully defended its 176-4 at Newlands to draw the series 1-1. Akmal made 64 and Hafeez 63 in a match-winning 102-run stand off just 55 balls after Pakistan opted to bat first and made it count.
Hashim Amla replied with 48 opening South Africa’s chase, but legspinner Afridi accounted for Quinton de Kock (26), Faf du Plessis and AB de Villiers to have the hosts 87-3.
After Amla was out just short of his half-century, JP Duminy (47 not out) and David Miller were held at bay by good death bowling by Sohail Tanvir to give Pakistan a long-awaited win. South Africa finished on 170-4.
Akmal and Hafeez combined for their century stand to lift Pakistan from a slow start at 44-2. Akmal had five fours and four towering sixes in his explosive 64 off 37 balls in Pakistan’s only significant partnership. Hafeez hit five fours and three sixes for his 63 off 41 balls before he was out in the 17th over to Dale Steyn (2-29).
Akmal fell to Steyn in the last over but the damage was already done, giving the home team a tough target to chase down under lights.
Amla began brightly, stroking five fours while opening partner De Kock hit four boundaries in his 26.
Spinner Afridi changed the game, though, having De Kock and captain Du Plessis caught in the deep and then bowling De Villiers with a quicker, flatter delivery. Amla fell to Pakistan’s other spinner, Saeed Ajmal, leaving Duminy and Miller with 60 runs to get in only 27 balls.
Their unbroken 53-run stand brought South Africa close, but Tanvir held his nerve in the final over to concede just six runs off the first five deliveries, clinching just a second win for Pakistan in nine limited-overs games against the South Africans.