Two Umars undo SA in Pakistan win
An aggressive 17-ball 32 from Umar Gul proved decisive as Pakistan stunned South Africa in the World Twenty20 with a two-wicket victory at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on Friday.
Full Scorecard: Pakistan v South Africa
The fast bowler, who came to the crease with his side looking dead and buried at 73 for six in pursuit of 134, struck three sixes and two fours and also shared in a fine 49-run stand with Umar Akmal (43 not out).
Gul was eventually out in the penultimate over of the innings, but by then the Asian side needed nine of six balls, with Akmal’s six early in the final over helping them edge over the line with two deliveries to spare.
It was tough on the Proteas, especially after they themselves had showed incredible fight after posting a mediocre 133 for six, built mainly around JP Duminy’s 48 off 38 deliveries on a slow wicket in the Sri Lankan capital.
Duminy also shone with the ball, taking 1-5 in two overs, while Dale Steyn was again the pick of the bunch with 3-22 in four overs.
Robin Peterson (2-15) and Johan Botha (1-10) also excelled with the ball.
The South Africans had decided to bat after winning the toss at the start, but were strangled by Pakistan’s spin quartet of Mohammad Hafeez (2-23), Saeed Ajmal (1-26), Shahid Afridi (0-26) and Raza Hasan (0-12) -- the four conceding a total of just 87 in 15 overs.
Hashim Amla (6), who was handed a let-off in the first over by Kamran Akmal, fell in the second when he drove Yasir Arafat straight to Shoaib Malik at cover, before Jacques Kallis (12) and Richard Levi (8) fell quickly.
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Ajmal first bowled the struggling Levi through his legs, while Kallis, who got going with a six, drove Hafeez to Afridi at short cover.
Farhaan Behardien ended almost five overs without a boundary when he glanced Afridi for a fine four, but the batsman was then stumped off Hafeez by Kamran Akmal for 18.
It was 66 for four at that stage, but Duminy and De Villiers (25 off 18) managed to put on 44 in 4.5 overs that took South Africa past 100.
But their dismissals, both chasing quick runs late on, ended any hopes of a big finish, with the Proteas eventually setting 134 for victory after a forgettable innings that included 39 dot balls.
Hafeez and Imran Nazir knocked some early wind out of the South Africans as they raced to 24 in a little under three overs, before the latter tried to pull, but instead popped one up on the leg side that was taken by De Villiers for 14.
Then came the introduction of spin that helped South Africa dominate the next 10 overs.
Peterson had Hafeez (15) and Nasir Jamshed (0) stumped within the space of four deliveries, while Botha bowled Kamran Akmal for one.
At the halfway stage, Pakistan had just reached 50 and needed some real magic from someone.
But nothing was forthcoming as Kallis removed Shoaib Malik for 12, Shahid Afridi, needlessly heaved against Duminy for a first-ball duck and Arafat fended one to short midwicket for three.
There were 58 needed from 30 balls in the last five overs and the two Umars then took over.
Most of the damage came in the next two as Gul pummeled Kallis for successive sixes and Albie Morkel went for 20, the two overs combined costing South Africa 36.
Gul finally fell in the second-last over to Steyn, but Ajmal managed to edge a boundary off Morne Morkel in the final over as the Proteas came up short.
PAKISTAN - Mohammad Hafeez (capt), Imran Nazir, Nasir Jamshed, Kamran Akmal (wk), Umar Akmal, Shoaib Malik, Shahid Afridi, Yasir Arafat, Raza Hasan, Umar Gul, Saeed Ajmal.
SOUTH AFRICA - Richard Levi, Hashim Amla, Jacques Kallis, AB de Villiers (capt & wk), JP Duminy, Farhaan Behardien, Albie Morkel, Johan Botha, Robin Peterson, Morne Morkel, Dale Steyn.