Paul Collingwood was left bemused by South Africa captain AB De Villiers' decision not to bowl his two spinners in the dying moments of their defeat to Pakistan in the World Twenty20 Super Eights clash.
The Proteas skipper opted to use his seam bowlers in the final six overs as they failed to defend their total of 133-6. Umar Gul in particular took great relish in smashing South Africa's fast bowlers for 32 from 17 balls to help Pakistan to 136-8 from 19.4 overs.
JP Duminy, who top-scored for South Africa with 48, and Johan Botha were given just two overs a piece despite both taking a wicket and going for a combined total of 15 runs from four overs on a pitch that significantly suited the spinners.
"I feel for AB De Villiers. He will be walking off saying he should have been bowling those spinners. It is as simple as that. He has made a mistake and he will learn from it," the former England batsman told Sky Sports. "But is it too late?
"I know they have another two games left but it is a massive, massive decision. The game of Twenty20 cricket runs so fast when you are out there and you have to make decisions so quickly.
"Do you back your bowlers who bowl at the death, with yorkers and so on? He has obviously gone down that route. But on that pitch when spinners are so difficult to hit, there were 24 balls that could have been bowled in those last six overs."
Gul put on a profitable partnership with Umar Akmal, who hit 43 not out from 41 balls. But while Collingwood paid tribute to Pakistan's batting, he insisted they had been given a massive gift by South Africa.
"In his defence you would think that when Umar Gul comes in you would go heavy pace again because he won't be able to handle that," he said. "But we saw him against England last year and he took down Stuart Broad a few times on good length balls.
"He hits the ball a long, long way and he is actually changed the whole momentum of the game so you have to give him a lot of credit. That was a lot of power and a lot of skill but he should have been facing spin."