Pakistan v South Africa, Champions Trophy, Group B, Edgbaston June 7, 2017

Hasan bounces back from India horror show

Pakistan's 23-year old fast bowler showed plenty of heart, with ball and on the field, to revive his team's Champions Trophy campaign

© ESPNcricinfo Ltd

Star turn

This was a must-win for Pakistan. They were given a hiding in their tournament opener. The bowlers came a cropper then. Now, they were up against a side that nearly made 300 in their first match. But this surface wasn't a flat batting deck. There was pace and bounce, right down Pakistan's alley.

South Africa were treading a cautious path against some superb swing bowling upfront. But the ball was a touch old when Hasan Ali was introduced in the 17th over. The onus was on him to build on the start, and he couldn't have done better: three big strikes, yorkers at the death, athleticism on the field and rocket throws, a stark contrast to his effort against India on Sunday, when he conceded 70 off his 10 overs.

Off his second delivery, Hasan delivered a body blow to South Africa by dismissing Faf du Plessis. Rooted to the crease, du Plessis wafted at a cross-seam delivery that stopped on him, only to chop on. That set a pattern to Hasan's overs - his ability to mix up accuracy through cross-seam deliveries and late inward movement to the left-hander proved a deadly combination under overcast skies.

Hasan did the bulk of his damage in his fourth over. He had just snuffed out JP Duminy to leave South Africa five down. Wayne Parnell walked in at No. 7. Sarfraz Ahmed set him up for an edge by bringing in second slip. Unlike the delivery that got Duminy, the one Hasan bowled to Parnell wasn't quite full. Parnell, mindful of the drive, looked to work the length ball to the leg side. So far, so good. But in trying to play from the crease, he played into Hasan's hands. The ball jagged away off the deck ever so slightly to beat the outside edge, hit the top of off stump and send it cartwheeling. South Africa were in tatters and Hasan went on to finish with 8-1-24-3.

The wow moment

For all Hasan's efforts with the ball, the moment that stood out was a piece of brilliance in the field. Just to put things into context, his poor effort to reprieve Yuvraj Singh at long-off cost Pakistan dearly against India. On Wednesday, Hasan's catch to dismiss Kagiso Rabada showed vast improvement. Fielding at mid-off, he showed excellent anticipation as Rabada sliced a lofted hit. The ball was swirling in the air, but in covering a good 20 yards or so to his right, Hasan ensured his eyes were off the ball at no stage. As it came down, he calmly settled underneath it to make a difficult catch look easy. Once the job was done, he held his arms aloft and coaxed the Pakistan fans to roar louder.

Stats that matter

  • This was Hasan's sixth three-wicket haul in 18 ODIs. Since his debut in August 2016, he has taken as many three-fors as all the other Pakistan bowlers combined.
  • These were Hasan's most economical ODI figures when he has bowled more than six overs, and his third-best overall.

Shashank Kishore is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Cricinfouser on June 10, 2017, 11:22 GMT

    I really do not agree with the writer when he says he had a horror show against India.He bowled superbly against Kohli and Co untill those last 2 overs.

  • SMART2014 on June 9, 2017, 1:48 GMT

    For the nxt match I think.Azhar should be dropped and haris sohail should play, hafeez to open and also faheem ashraf in place of shadab as sl play spinners well as we saw yesterday. 4 seamers and 2 spinners hafeez nd imad.

  • cricfan77406353 on June 8, 2017, 10:41 GMT

    I think Pak should not play all these spinners against SL as they are good on playing spin, Hafeez should be replaced with Faheem

  • Ashhar-Hasan on June 8, 2017, 8:24 GMT

    That's why it is said, "Catches win matches". In Match against India they dropped crucial catches of kohli and yuvraj and only they did most of the damage. If they didn't drop those catches then may be amir and wahab didn't need to exert extra effort and could be able to bowl till end.

    In short those catches costed 50 to 70 runs.

  • Mushtanda on June 8, 2017, 4:24 GMT

    Which means Pakistani bowlers are ineffective unless there is assistance from the deck.

  • alipaki on June 8, 2017, 4:17 GMT

    I liked the intensity with which Hassan plays his cricket. His has excellent control when it come s to bowling good length. He needs to work hard for master the art of Yorkers.

  • Jose...P on June 8, 2017, 2:51 GMT

    If anyone ever needed a redemption moment from a disastrous foray in a previous game, and got it up to the brim, it is the wiry, but fiery, Hassan Ali!

    No one, in his right cricketing sense, and devoid of any bias or prejudice, can ever begrudge him, for his moment! In this match.

    I'm sure!

  • niazbhi on June 8, 2017, 2:46 GMT

    This match gives a real assessment of teams. Anyone can beat anyone on a given day. Bangladesh and Srilanka are a bit behind. Bangladesh rely a lot on Mustafiz and Rubel to get wickets amd teams are seeing them off. When Amir and Zunaid contained SA and then Imad and Hafeez bowled tight, just the scoring pressure caused SA to unsettled. In their mind they must score 320, so they lost two wickets to Imad and Hafeez. Its not that Hasan Ali was unplayable. He was hitting the short of the length and good length on a tight line. Pakistan did not even need Shadab in this match. For a team like BD or SL to do well 3 or 4 quicks have to bowl well. That's why teams like AUS. India, Pakistan or SA is good. You cannot just see off opening bowlers and score smoothly after that. When Parnel and Rabada did not crack Pak top order, Morkel came in and got a couple of wickets.

  • cricfan00687545 on June 8, 2017, 2:16 GMT

    bowling was good against india until last 5 overs, i think batting is still big issue rotating strike, Hasan works hard, it was unlucky he dropped that catch of Yuvraj.

  • adiqad on June 8, 2017, 2:03 GMT

    The coach , captain and selectors should involve him in pak test team as soon as possible as a bowling all rounder.

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