Akmal, Hafeez Help Pakistan Tie T20 Series
Pakistan 176-4 (Umar Akmal 64) beat
South Africa 170-4 (Amla 48) by 6 runs
Second Twenty20 International, Cape Town
A century partnership between Mohammad Hafeez and Umar Akmal helped set up a six-run win for Pakistan over South Africa in the second and final Twenty20 International in Cape Town.
The pair came together with their side on 44 for two but both hit flamboyant half-centuries to steer their side to 176 for four.
In reply, Hashim Amla hit 48 before the Proteas fell short, closing on 170 for four.
After electing to bat first, Pakistan made a somewhat cautious start as Ahmed Shehzad (9) and Nasir Jamshed (19) struggled initially against Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel.
Jamshed was stumped off Aaron Phangiso and Shehzad caught by Amla off Wayne Parnell to bring Hafeez (63) and Akmal (64) together.
Hafeez had no problems dealing with Phangiso, launching him for two huge straight sixes before Akmal joined in the run-plundering with an extraordinary six over cover off Morkel.
He also targeted the straight boundary to good effect, hitting four sixes and five fours to Hafeez's three sixes and five fours.
Inevitably Steyn (2-29) got Hafeez, caught by AB de Villiers and Akmal also perished when he failed to get hold of another straight drive and was well caught by JP Duminy as Steyn struck again.
That slowed Pakistan's momentum hugely but the 102 in 57 balls the pair had added left them on course for a big score, despite Shahid Afridi struggling to lay bat on ball but somehow managing to edge 13 runs in 14 balls at the death.
Amla (48 in 40 balls) and Quinton de Kock (27 in 24) quickly added 58 for the first wicket before things began to unravel for the home side.
De Kock was caught by Jamshed as Afridi made up for any lingering disappointment in his batting by taking wickets instead, swiftly also snaring Faf du Plessis (6) and AB de Villiers (13).
While Amla, who hit five fours, remained, South Africa were still in with a chance but with his dismissal, in the 16th over, their chances were almost gone.
Duminy blasted 47 not out in 26 balls and David Miller 18 in 12 but it was too little, too late, although they were almost within range in the final over, needing 17 to win after Junaid Khan leaked 19 from the 19th over.
They managed 10 off Sohail Tanvir and from a position of being 35 runs ahead with 12 balls remaining, Pakistan did enough to ensure the series was tied at 1-1 after South Africa had won the opener by four runs on the Duckworth/Lewis method.
© Cricket World 2013