South Africa win opening T20 game against Pakistan
Sports Scene

After pocketing the one-day international series, South Africa have made a winning start to the Twenty20 cricket international series after clinching the opening game against Pakistan by six runs in Cape Town on Friday.

The Proteas were put into bat first after the visiting side won the toss at Newlands. However, skipper Faf du Plessis led from the front and played a magnificent innings of 78 off just 45 deliveries to power the home side's total to 192 for six in their allotted 20 overs.

He was well-supported by in-form opener Reeza Hendricks, who slammed a power-packed 74 off just 41 balls. Left-arm medium pacer Usman Shinwari was the pick of the Pakistan bowlers as he returned with the match figures of three for 31.

In reply, the Pakistan top-order of Babar Azam, Hussain Talat, and skipper Shoaib Malik batted sensibly to keep the chase under control but once the trio perished the touring side suffered a batting collapse and were restricted to 186 for nine in the end.

South Africa's wicketkeeper Gihahn Cloete dives to catch a ball during the first T20 cricket match against Pakistan, Cape Town, South Africa, February 1, 2019. /VCG Photo

South Africa's wicketkeeper Gihahn Cloete dives to catch a ball during the first T20 cricket match against Pakistan, Cape Town, South Africa, February 1, 2019. /VCG Photo

Malik top-scored for his side with a quickfire 49 off 31 deliveries, while Azam made 38 and Talat was dismissed for 40. Beuran Hendricks, Chris Morris, and Tabraiz Shamsi bagged two wickets apiece for the hosts. 

However, the Player of the Match was neither a batsman or a bowler. Quite surprisingly and justifiably, David Miller was chosen for the coveted award for his breathtaking fielding display to turn the tide in South Africa's favor. Miller not only grabbed four catches but also complemented his spectacular fielding with two run-outs to jeopardize Pakistan's nearly accomplished chase.

The South Africans will miss the services of their captain du Plessis in the remaining two T20 games of the series.