Markram, Malan punish Pakistan

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South Africa's Aiden Markram (R) plays a shot

Opening batsmen Aiden Markram and Janneman Malan set up South Africa for a big total with punishing half-centuries in the third Twenty20 international against Pakistan at SuperSport Park in Centurion on Wednesday.

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.

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