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Pakistan demolish South Africa in 2nd T20

768   //    03 Mar 2013, 21:30 IST


In complete contrast to the events that unfolded in the preceding Test series, South Africa were blown away by a spirited and pumped up Pakistan side in the 2nd T20 match at Supersport Park, Centurion.

Chasing 196, the Proteas were bowled out for 100, their lowest ever T20 score.

The home side started explosively with AB De Villiers starting rapidly and displaying his class with sixes over cover and another over fine leg. Probably they were too dependent on AB and just couldn’t play Umar Gul. The paceman, one of the best exponents of T20, took 3 wickets in his first over, and was also on a hat-trick. The giant Irfan dismissed AB next over and that as good as signalled the end of South Africa. New T20 skipper Faf du Plessis must’ve been wondering what hit his side as wickets continued to tumble.

Some brilliant fielding at backward point brought about the dismissals of Berhardien and David Miller. Rory Klienveldt tried to salvage some pride with a few lusty hits but it was never going to be enough.

Pakistan’s innings started superbly, led by skipper Mohammed Hafeez, who turned around his horrific run in the Tests to smash 86 runs and became the first player to pass 1000 T20 runs in the process. With his tormentor-in-chief Dale Steyn not present, Hafeez played with the freedom and displayed his class that was hitherto missing on this tour.

Nasir Jamshed and Ahmed Shehzad’s assault on the South African attack must have taken them aback, being relatively inexperienced with Steyn and Morkel rested. After Jamshed fell to Tsotsobe, the South Africans hoped for some respite but a rare and very costly lapse in the field, a missed run-out off the very next ball, granted Shehzad a massive reprieve.

Riding on his luck, Shehzad went on to hammer the Proteas attack and, along with his skipper, laid the foundation for a mammoth total. But then Pakistan being Pakistan, had to create some twist in the tale. Hafeez trod on his stumps as he smashed a Kleinveldt delivery over the covers and was dismissed hitwicket. This led to a mini collapse as Pakistan lost 4 wickets on 19 balls to end their innings on 195, some 20 runs short of what they would’ve expected to get.

In the end, it was almost 100 runs too many!

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