Miller magic as South Africa beats Pakistan in 1st T20
CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP) — South Africa won the first Twenty20 against Pakistan by six runs as captain Faf du Plessis led with the bat and David Miller produced a masterclass in the field on Friday.
South Africa posted 192-6 batting first with du Plessis cracking 78 off 45 balls and opener Reeza Hendricks 74 off 41.
The home team should have gone on to an even bigger total after it was well-set at 157-1 with five overs to go. South Africa still had enough to win as Miller took four catches in the outfield and pulled off two brilliant run outs with direct hits.
Pakistan could manage only 186-9 in its 20 overs.
Pakistan has won 11 straight T20 series dating to 2016 but South Africa has a good chance of ending that impressive streak in this three-match contest.
South Africa also shrugged off the loss of wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock for the series with a groin injury, which was confirmed shortly before the game at Newlands in Cape Town.
Du Plessis and Hendricks put on 131 for the second wicket off just 73 balls. Pakistan hit back with a flurry of late wickets to slow the Proteas down.
Pakistan was on course early in its chase but Miller started to turn the game with an underhand flick to run out danger man Babar Azam for 38 at the non-striker's end. He also ran out Mohammad Rizwan with a low throw from the outfield and took sharp catches to get rid of Asif Ali (13), Imad Wasim (4), Hasan Ali (11) and captain Shoaib Malik (49).
Miller was man of the match just for his fielding — a rare feat.