Rain helped South Africa to a sixth straight victory over Pakistan in limited-overs cricket on Wednesday as the home team won the opening Twenty20 by four runs on the Duckworth/Lewis method.
The weather interrupted with Pakistan on 60-2 after 9.1 overs chasing South Africa’s 153-7 in their tour-opening game at the Wanderers. The players couldn’t get back on and South Africa has now won seven of its last eight limited-overs games against Pakistan following their recent series in United Arab Emirates.
South Africa appeared to have wasted a 72-run opening partnership between Quinton de Kock and Hashim Amla to post a modest score.
But as Pakistan was about to launch its attack, JP Duminy removed Nasir Jamshed for 18 with a diving caught and bowled to break his threatening partnership with captain Mohammad Hafeez (13 not out), and the rain came soon after.
Umar Ukmal was stranded on 7 not out with Hafeez when the rain, which delayed the toss for around 30 minutes, returned for good.
Earlier, South Africa’s De Kock made 43 off 33 and Amla added 31 off 20 to send South Africa racing away.
Pakistan’s spinners pulled it back with Hafeez (2-25) removing Amla and De Kock within nine runs of each other. Shahid Afridi’s quicker ball then rattled into Henry Davids’ stumps.
Captain Faf du Plessis attempted to re-ignite the innings with his 22 and David Miller helped with some late big hitting. The left-hander struck a six and two fours in his 19 from 11 balls and Morne Morkel clubbed two boundaries off the last over.
But South Africa finished well short of what it should have got after De Kock and Amla served up 14 early boundaries between them in a rapid start.
Amla was bowled in the eighth over by offspinner Hafeez and De Kock holed out to the Pakistan captain on the long-on boundary and South Africa struggled from then on until Miller connected with a couple of big hits at the end.
Despite some wayward early bowling from its seamers, Pakistan caught and fielded efficiently to back up the spinners’ progress. Seamer Junaid Khan then returned at the death for 2-24.
For Pakistan, Jamshed and Hafeez had combined for a 32-run partnership for the second wicket after Ahmed Shehzad’s early dismissal to put the visitors in position, but offspinner Duminy ended the promising stand with his third ball.
Lonwabo Tsostsobe had the other wicket when Shehzad chopped onto his own stumps in the third over.
The two teams are becoming familiar rivals and are contesting their third series this year. Pakistan agreed to a short-notice tour of South Africa to follow up the Proteas’ recent trip to U.A.E., where South Africa won both T20 games and the one-day series 4-1.
The teams will play another T20 and three one-day games over the next two weeks in South Africa.