South Africa 99-1 (de Kock 48no) beat
Pakistan 98-9 (Steyn 3-15) by 9 wickets
First Twenty20 International, Dubai
South Africa had another dismal Pakistan batting effort to thank for a convincing win in the opening T20 International in Dubai.
The match was turned into a no-contest virtually from the start as Dale Steyn and Lonwabo wreaked havoc in their opening overs. Umar Akmal did take Pakistan close to three figures with a calm 49, but the Proteas eased to their target of 99 for the loss of only one wicket.
Tsotsobe had Ahmed Shehzad dismissed fifth ball for a duck in his first over after Pakistan had won the toss and chosen to bat. Sohaib Maqsood and Mohammad Hafeez then followed in the very next over, delivered by Dale Steyn, to make it four for three.
In truth, Pakistan never really recovered from this dreadful start. Shahid Afridi was fourth man out in the seventh over for 10 to make it 21 for four, with Shoaib Malik (12), Abdul Razzaq (10) and Sohail Tanvir (0) hardly posing too many problems.
Umar Akmal did at least show some fight in a match that could have turned into an embarrassment for the nominal home side. Entering the fray at number eight in the batting line-up, he made 49 off 41 balls before being ninth man out to the penultimate ball of the innings.
The South African bowling figures make for particularly pleasing reading if you are a Proteas fan. Tsotsobe recorded two for nine from his four overs, including delivering two maidens, while Steyn finished with three for 15. Imran Tahir was also effective after being rested for the final ODI and returned figures of two for 17; dismissing Shoaib Malik and Sohail Tanvir.
South Africa were never likely to be unduly troubled in their run chase despite losing Hashim Amla for 13 in Tanvir’s first over. Quinton de Kock carried over his good form from the latter half of the ODI series to finish on 48 off 38 balls, sharing an unbroken 83 with skipper Faf du Plessis (37 not out off 40 balls) for the second-wicket.
South Africa eventually won in the 15th over and go into Friday’s second and final game with at least a share of the series guaranteed.
© Cricket World 2013