Pakistan wins final T20 against South Africa by 27 runs

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Pakistan wins final T20 against South Africa by 27 runs
Pakistan players celebrates winning the third T20 cricket match between South Africa and Pakistan at the Centurion Park in Pretoria, South Africa, Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2019. Pakistan beat South Africa by 27 runs. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)

CENTURION, South Africa: Pakistan won the final Twenty20 against South Africa by 27 runs on Wednesday to end its tour with a positive result having already lost all three series.

Top-ranked T20 team Pakistan defended its total of 168-9 when it held South Africa to 141-9 in its 20 overs at SuperSport Park.

South Africa took the series 2-1 and also won the test and one-day contests.

South Africa couldn’t round off a whitewash in the T20s despite a late half-century by Chris Morris, who hit 55 not out off 29 balls but had too much to do at the end. Morris reached his maiden T20 50 with consecutive sixes off Shaheen Afridi in the final over, when South Africa was left needing 40 runs off the last six balls.

Pakistan wins final T20 against South Africa by 27 runs
Pakistan’s bowler Shaheen Afridi, left, drops a catch off own bowling as teammate Hasan Ali assist during the third T20 cricket match between South Africa and Pakistan at the Centurion Park in Pretoria, South Africa, Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2019. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)

Mohammad Amir took 3-27 to lead Pakistan’s bowlers and Shadab Khan and Faheem Ashraf collected two wickets each. Left-arm spinner Imad Wasim and Afridi were key for Pakistan in an impressive bowling performance as they restricted South Africa in the early overs. Both went for less than six an over.

Wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Rizwan top scored for the tourists with 26 after Pakistan was put in to bat. There were also contributions from Asif Ali (25) and Babar Azam (23) and although Pakistan’s total wasn’t huge, it was enough.

Shadab hit 22 not out off just eight balls in a crucial late effort, launching three sixes and plundering 21 runs off the final over of the innings.

Left-arm seamer Beuran Hendricks’ career-best 4-14 for South Africa came in a losing effort.