Sports Desk: Babar Azam blasted a superb century as Pakistan defeated South Africa by nine wickets in the third Twenty20 international against Pakistan at SuperSport Park in Centurion on Wednesday.
Pakistan, who were chasing a sizeable target of 204 set by South Africa, finished at 205-1 with a full two overs in hand.
Earlier, opening batsmen Aiden Markram and Janneman Malan had set up South Africa for a big total with half-centuries.
South Africa made 203 for five after being sent in. The four-match series is tied at 1-1.
Markram (63) and Malan (55) hit powerfully to put on 108 for the first wicket before Markram was bowled by left-arm spinner Mohammad Nawaz off the fourth ball of the 11th over.
It was Markram`s third successive half-century, a feat achieved previously for South Africa only by Hashim Amla in T20 internationals. Markram hit six fours and four sixes in a 31-ball innings.
Malan faced 40 balls and hit five fours and two sixes in making his maiden T20 international half-century.
Pakistan surprisingly left out leg-spinner Usman Qadir, the most successful bowler in their defeat in the second match, which left captain Babar Azam with only five bowlers, who each had to bowl a full quota of four overs at a venue where high totals are frequent.
Nawaz, the only slow bowler in the line-up, dismissed both openers and contributed to the South African innings briefly losing momentum after the opening partnership. Nawaz took two for 38.
South Africa: Heinrich Klaasen (capt, wkt), Aiden Markram, Janneman Malan, Rassie van der Dussen, Pite van Biljon, George Linde, Andile Phehlukwayo, Sisanda Magala, Beuran Hendricks, Lizaad Williams, Tabraiz Shamsi
Pakistan: Babar Azam (capt), Mohammad Rizwan (wkt), Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Hafeez, Haider Ali, Asif Ali, Mohammad Nawaz, Faheem Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf
Umpires: Bongani Jele, Allahudien Paleker (both RSA); Television umpire: Adrian Holdstock (RSA) ; Match referee: Andy Pycroft (ZIM)