Maidens galore, and Gul's redemption
The double surprise
With Saeed Ajmal, Umar Gul, Shahid Afridi, and himself available, Mohammad Hafeez opened the Pakistan bowling with the young left-arm spinner Raza Hasan, playing his first game of the tournament. As if that wasn't enough of a surprise for South Africa, he gave the second over to bowling allrounder Yasir Arafat. As if even that wasn't enough, Hasan and Arafat went on to bowl the first five overs.
The departure from modernity
South Africa were trudging at below five an over around the halfway stage of their innings. With Ajmal bowling the 12th over, Pakistan were confident enough to have no sweeper cover or deep point, a position modern captains love to have even in Tests. Farhaan Behardien used the largesse to cut through the region for a four.
The delayed déjà vu
Umar Gul was carted all around the Pallekele stadium during the group stage by New Zealand and Bangladesh. With Pakistan's spinners squeezing South Africa right from the start, Hafeez brought on his premier fast bowler as late as the 18th over. It changed little. First ball, AB de Villiers lofted him over wide long-on for six. Gul got de Villiers next ball, but went for 19 in two overs. He was to later hit South Africa back, with the bat though.
The height of predictability
Shahid Afridi in. Spinner on. First ball. Long-off? Long-on? Sweeper cover? Swung straight to long-off, this time. Sigh.
The presence of mind
Gul fell off the last ball of the 19th over after a blinder. Even as sweeper cover ran in to take the catch, Gul sprinted down the pitch for a possible run. The non-striker Umar Akmal was wise enough to stop, and also told Gul to, ensuring they didn't cross. It proved to be decisive as Umar Akmal took strike for the final over and swung the second ball over deep square leg for six to all but ensure Pakistan's win.
The maiden - I
Raza Hasan, 20, beginner in international cricket to Jacques Kallis, 36, legend in international cricket. He even beat Kallis a couple of times in the over.
The maiden(s) - II
South Africa responded with consecutive maidens, one each by Robin Peterson and Johan Botha, who also bowled Kamran Akmal during his.
Abhishek Purohit is an editorial assistant at ESPNcricinfo