Rizwan’s Continued Heroics & Usman Qadir Lift Pakistan


11th February 2021, Baaghi TV: Pakistan met South Africa at Qaddafi Stadium Lahore in this, the second instalment of South Africa’s long-awaited tour.

In the first T20 international, South Africa won the toss and sent Pakistan in to bat. Given the context of the last concluded Pakistan Super League, this was a major advantage for the visitors. Accordingly, they managed to bowl Pakistan out for 169 and had to chase a just competitive target of 170.

Muhammad Rizwan had held the bat throughout the first innings, and ended with an impressive T20 century. He continued his heroics in the field with his characteristic energy and ability to boost all around him. He capped his performance with another full length diving run-out to dismiss Hendricks, who was threatening to take the game away from Pakistan.

Usman Qadir, son of leg-spin legend Abdul Qadir, plied his magic by providing a much needed opening earlier when he bowled a blinder to get Malan, who had perfectly set up the chase for South Africa.

In the end, Pakistan won by a bare three runs a match that went to the last over bowled by the versatile Faheem Ashraf.

Outstanding Performance of the Match: Usman Qadir

Energetic Performance of the Match: Bjorn Fortuin

Man of the Match: Muhammad Rizwan

Muhammad Rizwan: Every match is important. In every single match my aim is to give my all and deliver for the team, so that they can rely on me. We faced a bit of early pressure when we started batting when our star batsman, our Captain, got run out early. That is why I was trying to send the message to the pavilion that a Plan B might be implemented after the early departure of the best batsman. When asked how he managed to hit 7 sixes even though it tends to be said that he is not good at hitting maximums, he said, “Allah is helping me a lot. I am trying my best but it is Allah who is making me do it.”

Babar Azam: We gave a bit too many runs in the first few overs. Under the circumstances full credit goes to our spinners, especially to Usman Qadir, who pegged things back for us. The were able to put pressure on the batsman and create the scope for winning. There was grip in the pitch that they utilised well. They set up the stage for the fast bowlers who in the latter part came back and completed a successful defence.

When asked about 100 runs out of the total of 169 made by Rizwan alone, he said: “In the beginning the ball was not coming on to the bat and it required that the batsmen hang in there and get set before going for their shots. It was the need to play proper cricketing shots. We unfortunately went for the attack which meant the loss of wickets. However Rizwan backed himself and his game and played an outstanding innings. ”

When asked about the impressive defence in comparatively difficult conditions, he said, “I believe that the dew was less of a problem but the fog was. It was difficult to see the ball. However the boys did not make any excuse for the conditions and they gave a spirited effort in the field. I believe you must have noticed that a 100% effort was given in the field. You will see a continued day by day improvement in the field, In Sha Allah.”

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