Pakistan 195-7 (Hafeez 86) beat
South Africa 100 (Gul 5-6) by 95 runs
Second Twenty20 International, Centurion
Report by Daniel Grummitt
Pakistan bounced back from their disappointing Test series showing in the most resounding fashion possible; inflicting defeat on the home side by 95 runs in the second Twenty20 International in Centurion.
Mohammad Hafeez perhaps epitomised the turnaround better than anyone. He had looked all at sea, both technically and mentally, during the Test series against Morne Morkel and Dale Steyn, but with those two absent, he smashed 85 off only 51 balls to lead Pakistan to 195 for seven.
South Africa began their run chase well, racing to 50 for one in the fifth over courtesy of AB de Villiers, but an astonishing collapse of five for three followed and were they were all out for exactly 100 - their lowest ever T20 score - in just 12.2 overs.
Umar Gul was the architect of their destruction. In the space of just two overs, he had tilted the match irreversibly in Pakistan’s favour. First to go was captain Faf du Plessis, with the promoted Chris Morris and Justin Ontong both falling first ball in the same over. Mohammad Irfan then ended de Villiers’ breezy 22-ball 36, with Gul then returning to complete the remarkable collapse by having Farhaan Behardien caught by Ahmed Shehzad. South Africa’s numbers four, five and six had all fallen for golden ducks.
At 53 for six, there was no way back, in spite of a late flurry of sixes from Rory Kleinveldt. All that was left was for Hafeez to add the finishing touches to his superb match by dispatching Kleinveldt and Robin Peterson with successive deliveries. Debutant Kyle Abbott was last man out to hand Gul his fifth wicket and so match his career-best figures of five for six, which had come against New Zealand in the 2009 World Twenty20. Back then, the Black Caps managed 99 - today the Proteas went only one better.
South Africa’s moment had arguably come and gone earlier when they missed an easy chance to run-out Ahmed Shehzad at the start of his epic second-wicket stand with Hafeez. From then on they never really got another sniff. Hafeez and Shehzad added 83 in less than eight overs and, despite losing momentum towards the end of their innings, a competitive total was never in doubt.
South Africa’s second-string bowlers were wayward - Abbott, Peterson and Ontong each conceded at least 10 an over - with Kleinveldt and Lonwabo Tsotsobe the only ones to emerge with reputations just about intact. Arguments will rumble on about the resting of South Africa’s key players - would Jacques Kallis and Dale Steyn have made any difference to today’s performance? - but that should not detract from what was a wonderful performance from Pakistan in their favourite form of the game.
© Cricket World 2013
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