Linde leads the way as Proteas romp to a six-wicket win to a level T20 series

(AFP) – Pakistan’s opening batsman Mohammad Rizwan fell to a trap off the first ball of the match and the tourists never recovered as South Africa raced to a six-wicket victory with six overs to spare in the second Twenty20 international match the Wanderers on Monday.

Match man George Linde revealed in the post-match presentation that South Africa had deliberately placed center-back Aiden Markram inside the 30-meter circle to tempt Rizwan into overdrive.

Rizwan danced down the wicket and went for a big shot but only managed to hit a high catch for Markram.

“We had a game plan to bring that guy up and I was happy when he (Rizwan) took down the wicket,” said left-arm spinner Linde who went on to grab three for 23.

He also caught three catches in the depths and restricted Pakistan to 140 at nine on what South African captain Heinrich Klaasen called “wicket 180-190”.

South Africa showed Pakistan’s batting shortcomings by racing to a series-level victory. Opening batter Markram set the tone by slamming 54 off 30 balls.

There was considerable movement when leg spinner Usman Qadir grabbed two wickets in successive innings to reduce South Africa to 92 for four but Klaasen (36 not out) and Linde took the hosts on target with no further alarms.

Linde finished a good day by scoring 20 not out of ten balls.

Pakistan captain Babar Azam, 50 and sharing Pakistan’s only productive partnership, made 58 off 49 balls for the third wicket, with Mohammad Hafeez (32).

“The aggressive behavior cost us the game,” said Babar after five of his batters fell into custody while abusing big hits.

“Early wickets cost us and South Africa bowled really well,” he said.

Klaasen said South Africa’s bowlers were executed “on the spot”. Fast bowler Sisanda Magala, who had a nightmare, sang first, starting with three no-balls and then bowling three laps while conceding 18 runs.

“He begged me for another one over,” said Klaasen. “He said, ‘I’m your guy today’ and he proved it.”

Magala’s next three overs cost just 14 runs, including two ‘death’ spells, and he captured Babar’s key wicket, his first in international cricket.

Klaasen said the message to South African batsmen was to be positive and base their attitude on the quality of the pitch rather than the runs required.

“We want to play aggressive cricket but not cowboy cricket,” he said, pointing out that he had tempered his aggressive behavior after the Qadir double strike.

The series moves to nearby Centurion for the final two games, tomorrow and Friday.