Day 1 of 1
Pakistan win by 2 wickets

Pakistan vs S Africa

Commentary

Last Updated: September 28, 2012 2:28pm

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    End of innings

    The World Twenty20 has come alive with a dramatic couple of games in the last few days, and this one was the best of the lot. South Africa and Pakistan traded blows throughout the afternoon. The South Africans were on the back foot after they lost early wickets, but JP Duminy's innings revitalised them and helped to set a challenging total. Then it was Pakistan's turn to be rocked, Peterson and Botha ripping the heart out of the middle order with quick wickets. Pakistan were 76 for 7 and fading fast when Umar Gul walked out to bat in the 15th over, and his death-or-glory innings sparked an incredible comeback. Umar Akmal guided the team home, his six off Morkel just about settling things before Saeed Ajmal, that loveable rogue, hit the winning runs off the edge of his bat. I'm off to catch my breath quickly before we're back in action with Australia v India.

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    Over 20 - Pak 136/8 (U Akmal 43, Ajmal 4)

    Pakistan win! What a comeback. Umar Akmal took them to the brink by clubbing a Morne Morkel full toss over midwicket for six. A single brought Ajmal on strike, and he completed the win with a slightly clueless - but mighty effective - outside edge down to the third man boundary. A slip would've been useful there. What a game!

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    Over 19 - Pak 125/8 (U Akmal 36, Ajmal 0)

    WICKET! A dramatic penultimate over. First, Steyn is struck a stinging blow on the ankle as Umar Akmal drills a drive back at him. He's down for some time, and the physio comes out with the magic spray, but is eventually well enough to continue. Gul then gives half a chance as a wild slash balloons down to third man, where Hashim Amla comes charging in ... but he can't get there! A very tough chance, if one can even call it a chance. There's a final twist as Gul scoops a full ball out to Peterson on the deep cover boundary. Pakistan need 9 from the last over.

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    Over 18 - Pak 119/7 (U Akmal 32, Gul 31)

    These batsmen are eating the Morkel brothers for khaana here. Gul moves into the 30s with a well-timed clip through square leg for four. His team-mates in the dug out, and Umar in the middle, are screaming at him to calm down. That looked like a pretty calm shot to me. Seven runs come from the over, and Pakistan need 15 from the last 12 balls to pull off a remarkable win. Albie was the kofte and qeema, Morne is the naan. Who will be the qulfi and ras malai?

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    Over 17 - Pak 112/7 (U Akmal 30, Gul 26)

    It's not one of the spinners, it's Albie Morkel who's brought on and he sends down an atrocious over that brings Pakistan right back into the game. Umar Akmal starts the carnage by slapping a short, wide ball to the cover point boundary and after a front foot no-ball Gul plants an 88-metre Gojira of a hit into the stands beyond midwicket. Pakistan's no. 9 then uppercuts another wide long-hop to backward point, and 20 runs from the over has brought Pakistan's target down to 22 from 18.

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    Over 16 - Pak 92/7 (U Akmal 24, Gul 13)

    The clean-shaven Umar Gul heaves the weirdly manicured Kallis for two massive blows over the leg side, and it's clear that Pakistan are going to go down swinging. Gul only really has one shot, the stiff-armed swivel pull, and he uses it to great effect to plant a short ball into Row M. Another length ball is fetched high over wide long on, and 16 runs flow from the over. Botha and Duminy still have four overs between them, surely we'll see them brought back on now?

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    Over 15 - Pak 76/7 (U Akmal 23, Gul 0)

    WICKET! Under a glorious Colombo sunset the colour of molten steel, Dale Steyn has struck again for South Africa. A waspish short ball was too much for Arafat, who fended the rising delivery towards midwicket where Duminy took a great, tumbling catch millimetres from the turf. Steyn's just about busted a blood vessel on his temple with a ferocious, screaming celebration at Arafat's demise. He looks like he'd bite the head off a live chicken if he got Umar out. Duminy's got to be the main contender for MoM now.

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    Over 14 - Pak 73/6 (U Akmal 22, Arafat 1)

    Umar Akmal may well be Pakistan's last hope here. No wonder their dug-out looks so decidedly anxious. He does, however, do a great job of seeing Robin Peterson's final over off. In fact, he does more than just see it off, lacing a confident inside-out drive over extra cover to move into the 20s. Pakistan need 10 an over from here on in, and one feels they've got to come from Umar's bat.

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    Over 13 - Pak 66/6 (U Akmal 15, Arafat 1)

    WICKET! Classic Afridi. An almighty swipe at the very first ball he faces lands right in long-off's lap. The fielder, Albie Morkel, didn't even have to move. Sanity prevails as Yasir Arafat and Umar Akmal look for singles off the rest of the over, but Duminy now has 1 for 5 in two, and Pakistan are wobbling. By the way, when I'm not typing at the speed of light to bring you these updates you can find me on Twitter. My handle is gomorezvidinha, and I'd love to hear from you.

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    Over 12 - Pak 63/5 (U Akmal 13, Afridi 0)

    WICKET! Kallis strikes, and South Africa come storming back into the match! Malik made room to slash the ball over the off side, but a top edge is easily snaffled by Steyn down at third man. I've simply got to mention Kallis' bizarre facial hair as well here. Is this some sort of a joke? Is he operating several irony levels above the rest of us? It appears that the same company who manufacture the hair on his head have begun to fiddle with the stubble on his cheeks and chin. Uncanny valley. I'm unnerved, and clearly Malik was too. In comes 'Boom Boom' Afridi. He's got great hair.

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    Over 11 - Pak 57/4 (U Akmal 12, Malik 11)

    Duminy is well enough to bowl after all, and sets himself on a course for the Man of the Match award by giving away just two runs in the over. It'd be very handy for the South Africans if he could also pick up a wicket or two. He'll definitely have another chance, and in fact I'd be surprised if he doesn't bowl is full quota of overs on this surface.

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    Over 10 - Pak 55/4 (U Akmal 11, Malik 10)

    De Villiers brings Morne Morkel back into the attack, and he finds a good, probing length on off stump. Malik is beaten on the inside edge, but the ball bounces awkwardly in front of de Villiers and two byes are taken. Still, just six runs from the over as the batsmen can't get him away.

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    Over 9 - Pak 49/4 (U Akmal 10, Malik 7)

    Umar Akmal counter-attacks against Botha's offspin in fine style! A long hop is bludgeoned to wide long on, and he then finds the middle of the bat with a sweep down to long leg. Morne Morkel lopes after it, but he ends up sliding on his backside with his arms in the air, staring at the sky, rather than stopping the ball.

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    Over 8 - Pak 39/4 (Malik 6, U Akmal 1)

    The Pakistani batsmen are happy to see off another over from the marauding Robin Peterson (words I never thought I'd type), and Umar Akmal is finally off the mark with a single to long off. Will de Villiers keep one Peterson over in the bank, or will he bowl him out here? He's also got JP Duminy's offspin to turn to. Duminy may still be knackered from his efforts earlier - he was suffering from heat exhaustion after his innings and had to be rehydrated in the South African dressing room.

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    Over 7 - Pak 37/4 (Malik 5, U Akmal 0)

    WICKET! Botha's struck with his second ball! Kamran Akmal had a look at his first delivery, prodding forward in defense, but then played back to one that spun in sharply to rattle the stumps. He's replaced at the crease by his younger brother Umar, and Botha rushes through a wicket maiden. The spinners have strung together twelve dot balls now, and picked up a wicket. Where is Imran Tahir??

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    Over 6 - Pak 37/3 (Malik 5, K Akmal 1)

    Robin Peterson is relishing these conditions, and sends down a superb over at Shoaib Malik. The batsman is very wary of spin off the surface, and nudges out a maiden. That's his first maiden in T20Is, and will help regain some of the pressure diffused by Morkel's last over. Surely, de Villiers has got to bring Botha into the attack as well now and begin to choke Pakistan's middle order?

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    Over 5 - Pak 37//3 (Malik 5, K Akmal 1)

    Why has de Villiers brought Albie Morkel on now? Surely Botha, or even Steyn, would have been a better idea considering three quick wickets have just fallen. Malik is gifted a leg-stump delivery to get off the mark with a glance for four, and seven runs come from the over. Albie doesn't look like taking a wicket, unless one of the batsmen does something rash ...

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    Over 4 - Pak 31/3 (K Akmal 0)

    WICKETS! Robbie P strikes, and Hafeez is out stumped! Hafeez had just lifted the spinner down the ground and over a leaping Behardien for six. He shuffled down the track in a manner most uncertain immediately afterwards, but Peterson got one to grip and spin past the outside edge. De Villiers' second superb piece of keeping in three deliveries completed the dismissal. But he's not done there! Nasir Jamshed jumps out at his second ball from the left-arm spinner, who rushes one past him to set up the second stumping of the over. South Africa are right in this now.

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    Over 3 - Pak 24/1 (Hafeez 9)

    WICKET! Nazir's frenetic innings is ended by Steyn. The Pakistani opener survived a close lbw appeal first ball, and counter-punched with a clubbed pull to deep square leg. Nazir is then frustrated by a string of dot balls and flails at a bouncer off the final delivery, gloving the ball through to de Villiers, who makes a very tough chance - diving forward at a dropping ball - look easy.

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    Over 2 - Pak 20/0 (Nazir 10, Hafeez 9)

    Morkel shares the new ball with an overwhelmingly off-side field in place. There are one or two very lonely fielders on the leg side, and they're barely even needed as the Ent-like fast bowler keeps almost everything outside off. Nazir doesn't give a toss for field placings, and french-cuts a pull down to fine leg before thrashing a full ball through cover point with great flourish.

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Match Details

Date
28th Sep 2012
Toss
South Africa won the toss and elected to bat.
Venue
R. Premadasa Stadium
Umpires
I J Gould and R J Tucker

pakistan BATTING CARD

Batsman R
Hafeez st de Villiers b Peterson 15
Nazir c de Villiers b Steyn 14
Jamshed st de Villiers b Peterson 0
Akmal b Botha 1
Malik c Steyn b Kallis 12
Akmal not out 43
Afridi c J.A. Morkel b Duminy 0
Arafat c Duminy b Steyn 3
Gul c Peterson b Steyn 32
Ajmal not out 4
Extras 1nb, 3w, 2b, 6lb 12
Total 19.4 Overs 136 - 8
Full Batting Card

s africa BOWLING CARD

Bowler O M R W
Steyn 4 0 22 3
M Morkel 3.4 0 33 0
Peterson 4 1 15 2
J.A. Morkel 2 0 26 0
Botha 2 1 10 1
Duminy 2 0 5 1
Kallis 2 0 17 1
Full Bowling Card