SYDNEY: Shadab Khan led Pakistan's strong batting display with a scintillating 22-ball 52, propelling them to 185 for nine against South Africa in the T20 World Cup here on Thursday.
Besides Shadab, Iftikhar Ahmed made 51 in 35 balls and anchored the innings after they were tottering at 43/4 in the seventh over.
Shadab, who reached his half-century in 20 balls, struck four sixes and three fours in his whirlwind knock.
Opting to bat after winning the toss, Pakistan lost an early wicket in Mohammed Rizwan, who played on after being cramped for room by a Wayne Parnell delivery that nipped back just enough to create problems for the batter.
It was yet another occasion in the ongoing showpiece that Pakistan failed to get a promising start. Drafted into the squad as a reinforcement for an injured Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Haris came in at the fall of first wicket and immediately started finding the fence.
With the help of three sixes and two fours, Haris smashed 28 off 11 balls. However, Haris was trapped in front of the wicket by Anrich Nortje after the batter shuffled across to play the ball through midwicket but failed to connect.
Haris reviewed but the decision stayed as Pakistan, from 38 for one, slipped to 43 for four in a span of two overs.
The in-form Iftikhar, along with Mohammad Nawaz (28 off 22 balls), steadied the innings with a partnership of 52 runs for the fifth wicket before the latter was out lbw to left-arm wrist spinner Tabraiz Shamsi. Nawaz struck four fours and a six during his stay in the middle. Shadab joined Iftikhar and started accelerating straightway to prop up Pakistan in the back-10.
Anrich Nortje was the most successful bowler for South Africa with figures of 4/41.