On Monday, South Africa registered a comfortable victory over Pakistan in the second T20I by six wickets at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg. The win propelled Proteas to level the ongoing three-match T20I series 1-1. The visitors had earlier won the series opener by four wickets.
Aiden Markram’s scintillating effort from the willow helped his side to bounce back in the series. The right-handed batsman scored a remarkable half-century as the home team chased down the paltry target of 141 in 14 overs.
Markram smashed 54 from 30 deliveries at a brilliant strike rate of 180, featuring seven fours and three sixes. Apart from the 26-year-old, captain Heinrich Klaasen made a valuable contribution of unbeaten 36 off 21 balls to take his team over the finish line.
For the tourists, spinner Usman Qadir picked up two wickets for 26 in 3 overs, while Hasan Ali and Mohammad Hasnain bagged one scalp each.
Earlier, South Africa bowlers showed tremendous discipline and restricted the Men in Green at 140/9 in their allotted 20 overs. For Pakistan, only their skipper Babar Azam was the main highlight. He scored a gutsy half-century before Sisanda Magala cut short his innings. Except for Babar, senior lad Mohammad Hafeez scored 32 off 23 balls to take his side towards a competitive total.
Left-arm spinner George Linde was another major contributor for South Africa in the stunning victory. The all-rounder picked up three wickets for just 23 runs in his quota of 4 overs. Lizaad Williams, who was playing only his second T20I, also earned a three-wicket haul but conceded 35 runs at a poor economy of 8.80. Post the match, Linde was named ‘Player of the Match’ for his outstanding show.
Here is how Twitter reacted:
— Saj Sadiq (@Saj_PakPassion) April 12, 2021
3 wickets 👏
3 catches 🔥
20* off 10 balls 😲
— ICC (@ICC) April 12, 2021
George Linde becomes the first ever spinner to dismiss a batsman 'caught' on the first ball of a men's international match.#SAvPAK
— Kausthub Gudipati (@kaustats) April 12, 2021
Back to back fifties for Aiden Markram on T20I comeback. Hard to believe how South Africa have underused him for years. #SAvPAK
— Sritama Panda (@cricketpun_duh) April 12, 2021
Aiden Markram's second fifty of the series set-up SA's dominant 6 wicket win with 6 overs to spare 👏👏
— ThePoppingCrease (@PoppingCreaseSA) April 12, 2021
George Linde appreciaion tweet, guy has worked so hard domestically, waited patiently for his call up to the national side and hasn't disappointed. Keep going George 🤩
— Gillian Price (@Gillian_Price) April 12, 2021
— SA Cricket Magazine (@SACricketmag) April 12, 2021
George Linde is amazing. Solid all round cricketer and such a humble character 👑❤️
— Sabeeha Majid 🏏 (@SabeehaMajid) April 12, 2021
Amidst all the madness at the Wankhede Stadium I happened to catch an absolute class act from Aiden Markram. Geez what a player! Should be an an all-format player for a long time. Needs to ensure the big runs keep coming consistently. Drool worthy strokeplay though #SAvPAK
— Soorya Sesha (@sooryasesha7) April 12, 2021
Top new-ball spell ✅
Safe hands in the field ✅
Batting cameo that helped seal a quick win ✅
George Linde's all-round contribution wins him the Player of the Match award! 👏 #SAvPAK
— Moni.. (@thecricgirl) April 12, 2021
I enjoy watching Aiden Markram stroke the ball, he's got every shot in the book.
— Thupa Yetla 15 April 2021 tick tock (@Tshepo_SS) April 12, 2021
Aiden Markram proves the old cricketing adage correct. Form is temporary, class is permanent. #PAKvSA
— Euro-African (@RatCatc59543750) April 12, 2021