At the beginning of our our coverage we asked: Should Pakistan have played an extra batsmen if Gul were to remain unused as a bowler? Turns out, Gul was the third-highest scorer of the match.
Hafeez says: “Umar Gul and Umar Akmal produced something very special – we know Umar Gul can hit the ball very hard and it’s good that everyone can contribute.”
Alison Mitchell, commentating for BBC Test Match Special, says:
“A shame that Gul wasn’t out there in the middle when they won it, after he’d done all the work.”
Dirk Nannes, commentating for BBC Test Match Special, says:
“Pakistan have absolutely stolen this game. But credit to them, they have kept going. It was inexplicable that Morkel bowled that knee-high full toss that was hit for six, that was the one ball he couldn’t have bowled.”
BOUNDARY- Ajmal edges it through the slips for a four! Pakistan have pulled off the most unlikeliest of wins here! South Africa will be shocked and wondering what they will have to do to beat Pakistan in World T20s!
BOUNDARY- Same length and this time Gul hits it over point! Out of nowhere Pakistan have some hope now. 22 of 18.
BOUNDARY- SIX! Short length from Morkel and Gul hits it in his favourite spot!
FREE HIT! Morkel steps over the line but Umar Akmal doesn’t make full use of it!
BOUNDARY- Umar Akmal comes down the track, Albie Morkel holds it back but Umar is up to it and cuts it over point for four.
BOUNDARY- 6, 6! Umar Gul smashes Kallis for two sixes, both deliveries short, just the way Gul likes it. Gul giving Umar Akmal a few tips after that passage of play.
Roshan Abeysinghe, commentating for BBC Test Match Special, says
“I think Pakistan have grabbed defeat from the jaws of victory here. Only chasing 134, on this pitch, nine times out of 10 they should have done it.” I think nine times out of time one can expect them to do this ‘grabbing defeat from the jaws of victory’ bit as well.
WICKET- Steyn fires it into the ribs of Yasir Arafat, short mid-on takes an easy catch!
BOUNDARY- Umar Akmal looking to take the attack, hits Peterson inside out for four. Probably a bit too much for him to do alone. 61 off 36.
Pakistan have, for a change, played the faster men with quite a lot of ease, the South African spinners looking menacing probably because of some senseless batting by Pakistan.
WICKET- Afridi hits Duminy to Albie Morkel at long off, first-ball duck. Very brief stay, just under 2 minutes perhaps.
WICKET- Malik makes room and cuts Kallis straight into the hands of Steyn at thirdman. Shahid Afridi walks in.
BOUNDARY- Jacques Kallis on now, and immediately bounces Malik. The ball flies over the keeper after deflecting over Malik’s shoulder.
BOUNDARY- Umar Akmal sweeps Botha fine, perhaps that’s the way to go.
BOUNDARY- Umar Akmal pulls Botha over midwicket for four.
Ramiz Raja, commentating for BBC Test Match Special, says:
“South Africa have got Pakistan where they wanted them. The damage has been done.”
WICKET- Johan Botha into the attack and goes straight through Kamran Akmal! It was too close to attempt a cheeky late cut, perhaps also not the right time to do so. Time for Umar Akmal to do his bit.
BOUNDARY- Shoaib Malik, the new man in, clips Albie Morkel off his legs through short fine leg for four. Pakistan’s middle-order will be tested today.
WICKET- Another one falls! Nasir Jamshed falls in similar fashion to Hafeez. The left-arm spin of Robin Peterson proving far more deadly than the Steyn-Morkel combination!
WICKET- Peterson beats Hafeez in flights as Hafeez plays a walking shot and is out stumped. Great work by AB de Villiers behind the stumps!
BOUNDARY- Hafeez hits Peterson inside out for six!
WICKET- Nazir falls to Steyn. Another short one and this time the batsman ends up gloving it to the keeper.
BOUNDARY- Nazir pulls a 142 kph short ball from Steyn to the boundary for a once-bounce four.
BOUNDARY- Nazir drives Morne Morkel forcefully through point, not the right length to the Pakistan openers.
BOUNDARY- Hafeez drives Steyn through the covers before glancing one of his pads for two fours. Good start for Pakistan but with the amount of movement Steyn is getting, the next few overs will prove to be a handful for Hafeez and Nazir.
South Africa finish at 133/6 in their 20 overs. Great strike-and-strangle job done by the Pakistani spinners. Raza Hasan 3-12-0, Saeed Ajmal 4-26-1, Mohammad Hafeez 4-23-2, Shahid Afridi 4-26-0. Duminy top-scored for South Africa with 48 off 38 balls. The score on this pitch should not be a big worry for Pakistan (average score on this ground is 162), keeping in mind their last performance but expect Steyn and Morkel to breathe some fire.
BOUNDARY- Albie Morkel smacks Gul down the ground for four. Too much of an attacking field, no one patrolling the boundary.
WICKET- Duminy falls, just when South Africa looked like they could achieve something in the range of 140. SA 123/6 in 18.4. Arafat has done a good job here, 3-25-2 his figures. Gul to bowl the last over.
BOUNDARY- SIX! Duminy smacks Yasir Arafat over long on.
This is hardly going to do Gul’s confidence any good but experts will argue his late introduction was the right move considering South Africa’s inability to get the Pakistani spinners away. Could Hafeez have played an extra batsman then in place of Gul?
WICKET- Another terrible delivery by Gul, a full toss this time, but AB de Villiers hits it straight to Imran Nazir on the point boundary.
BOUNDARY- Gul finally into the attack, in the 18th over and his first ball is picked up by AB for six over mid-wicket.
BOUNDARY- First AB and then Duminy pick Ajmal off for fours. 104/4 in 17 overs, 130 still a possibility.
16 overs bowled and still no sign of Umar Gul. Arafat has two, Hasan and Ajmal one each. Will Gul get a bowl?
BOUNDARY- Ajmal fires it in but is too short and Duminy cuts him through point. South Africa should be aiming for at least 130 here.
WICKET- Behardien attempts a similar shots but misses it completely, Akmal does the rest. SA 66/4 in 12.3. AB De Villiers in and Pakistan miss two clear run-out opportunities.
BOUNDARY- Duminy’s has enough of it, dances to the wicket to pick Hafeez over long on.
BOUNDARY- Farhaan bhai cuts a faster, shorter one from Ajmal to the boundary.
BOUNDARY- Behardien clips Afridi off his legs, using the bowler’s pace, first boundary for quite some time.
Farhaan Behardien and JP Duminy at the crease. Farhaan is a 28-year-old right-handed batsman and is known to be ‘flashy’. Perhaps the ideal partner for Duminy at this stage who will keep the board ticking.
Ramiz Raja commentating for BBC Test Match Special says:
“South Africa’s improvisation isn’t working here. Levi was trying to reverse-sweep, couldn’t pick the doosra and was castled.”
WICKET- Jacques Kallis hits Hafeez straight to Afridi at short cover. Kallis was never in a position to play that uppishly, that too off the backfoot.
WICKET- Saeed Ajmal gets Richard Levi, the batsman attempting a reverse sweep gets bowled through his legs! A very positive move by captain Hafeez to get Ajmal in early, makes sense to use your wicket-taking option against the oppositions best batsmen.
South Africa have won the toss and will bat first on a wicket which seems lacks any juice for the bowlers.
Mohammad Hafeez*, Imran Nazir, Nasir Jamshed, Kamran Akmal†, Shoaib Malik, Umar Akmal, Shahid Afridi, Yasir Arafat, Raza Hasan, Umar Gul, Saeed Ajmal
RE Levi, HM Amla, JH Kallis, AB de Villiers*†, JP Duminy, F Behardien, JA Morkel, J Botha, RJ Peterson, DW Steyn, M Morkel
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Both teams seem to have predetermined notions of the other’s form of attack and they are likely to be accurate to a great extent. The weather is sunny but the forecast predicts showers around the time the first innings wraps up.
“I think South Africa will rely on their pace attack and we know that it’s all about the strategy of the teams. We really rely on our spinners because we have something very special in our side like Saeed Ajmal with his doosra,” Hafeez said.
Pakistan captain Mohammad Hafeez, on the other hand, expects South Africa to focus on their experienced fast bowlers Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel.
De Villiers believes the pitch will take turn.
South Africa have studied video footage to prepare their batsmen to face Pakistan spinner Saeed Ajmal, captain A.B. De Villiers has said, as the teams meet in the first match of Group 1 in the World Twenty20 Super Eights round.