Pak­istan spoil the Proteas’ T20 party

Tourists get back to win­ning ways as they claim vic­tory at New­lands

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - SPORT - JU­NIOR BESTER

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.

AP PHOTO

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

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