Pakistan spoil the Proteas’ T20 party
Tourists get back to winning ways as they claim victory at Newlands
PAKISTAN drew the T20 series against South Africa last night with a six-run victory in front of a packed crowd.
It proved to be a gratifying victory for the visitors after they had to concede victory in a rain-effected loss at the Wanderers on Wednesday when they looked in prime position to win.
Pakistan won the toss and chose to bat in front of a crowd which only had to wait until the fourth over for the match’s first six, from Ahmed Shehzad.
But two balls later he was the first to fall, after nicking Wayne Parnell’s first ball into the hands of Hashim Amla for nine.
Left- arm spinner Aaron Phangiso made a return in place of Imran Tahir and he combined well with Lions teammate Quinton de Kock, who stumped Nasir Jamshed for 19.
This brought wicketkeeper Umar Akmal to the crease and together with captain Mohammad Hafeez the pair went on to record the highest third-wicket T20 partnership between the two countries.
Their stand of 102 saw both players pass the fifty-mark with Hafeez reaching his seventh T20 fifty with a four off JP Duminy, and Akmal picking up his fifth with a single off Dale Steyn.
During the partnership, both players struck a number of sixes with Hafeez hitting two consecutive Phangiso deliveries, in an over that went for 21 after Akmal also skied a delivery over the line.
Runs continued to flow for the pair with SA skipper Faf du Plessis making use of Morne Morkel, Phangiso, David Wiese and Duminy to try to make the breakthrough.
It took the return of Steyn in the 17th over for the break to come, with the pace bowler pitching a short delivery to Hafeez that was sent straight into the sky and into the grateful hands of AB de Villiers.
Akmal became the last to fall in the innings after his attempted boundary was expertly caught by Duminy for Steyn’s second wicket.
With the target set at 177, SA’s opening pair of de Kock and Amla got off to a good start with well- placed fours and quick singles.
The pair reached a fifty-run partnership in the seventh over, but it was broken when De Kock attempted a slog sweep shot off an Shahid Afridi delivery.
Instead of the boundary line de Kock picked out Jamshed at deep fine leg, sending the explosive batsman back to the pavilion with 26.
Afridi proved to be a thorn in the hosts’ side as he picked up a wicket in each of his opening three overs, nailing Du Plessis for 6 and bowling out De Villiers for 12.
Amla steadied the innings and continued to edge towards his first T20 fifty.
Unfortunately, he would fall just two runs short as he was caught by Bilawal Bhati off Saeed Ajmal in the 16th over.
With four wickets down and still needing 59 runs off 27 balls, JP Duminy and David Miller fought valiantly to try and bring victory.
Both were aggressive in their approach, with Duminy hitting two sixes and three fours on his way to scoring an undefeated 47.
A total of 27 runs were needed off the final over, but neither Duminy nor Miller could provide the heroics, with only 10 runs coming off Sohail Tanvir.
Miller did manage to hit a four off the last ball to end his innings on 22 off 13 balls, yet it was not enough as Pakistan celebrated a well-deserved victory.
GOOD SCALP: Team members gather round Pakistan’s Shahid Afridi after he takes the wicket of AB de Villiers, during the T20 cricket game at Newlands last night.
USEFUL CONTRIBUTION: JP Duminy made 47 with the bat