Pak v SA, World T20 2012, Super Eights, Colombo September 28, 2012

Maidens galore, and Gul's redemption

Plays of the Day from the Super Eights match between South Africa and Pakistan in Colombo

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on September 30, 2012, 6:39 GMT

    After almost 2 decades of top level cricket even average players would improve their game and some even become great players. Afridi is one of the very few who has gone in the opposite direction, and before you harp on about his bowling (no great shakes in the last 12 months), it was his batting and in particular the 37 ball century that cemented his place in the team. If the whole of Pakistan just wants to salivate over an Afridi six, dump him from the team and go watch him in the nets!!

  • Dummy4 on September 29, 2012, 18:14 GMT

    @ Imran Awan: Umar Gul faced 5 balls from Steyn and scored 1 run; 4 balls from M. Morkel and scored 5 runs. @ Khalid Abowath: Afridi does not waste any balls when he fails with the bat, but the team loses one wicket. Full credit to Gul for winning the match after the top order tried to lose the match.

  • Dummy4 on September 29, 2012, 5:12 GMT

    So, When everyone in this world is afraid of Steyn, Morkel and co. Then Umar gul showed the way how to hit them out of ground. How many players in this world can paly same innings against S.A as gul did, I think no one can play in such a pressure that gul did. Kallis, Amla and co don't know how to play Pak bowlers. Pakistan has shut the mouth of their haters by exposing S.A batting and S.A bowling and also lazy amla fielding.

  • Dummy4 on September 29, 2012, 4:28 GMT

    Afridi is NOT a liability. His inclusion is very well justified by his bowling. Batting is a bonus when it works. Also when he fails with the bat, he does not waste any balls.

  • Dummy4 on September 29, 2012, 4:18 GMT

    Good addition as Raza Hassan. now Pakistan can switch between Raza Hassan & Saeed Ajmal, just to make it more unpredictable. Go Pakistan Go

  • Dummy4 on September 29, 2012, 4:07 GMT

    calm down peeps.... So you think that the greats like Amla and Kallis can fall for nothing, kamran and shoaib shoulda scores tons?? give yourself a break... pak bowled well and contained SA under 150..... in return SA bowled well and contained pakistan but not enough... end of the day pak edged away and pulled out a beauty... it donr mean that pak played bad...

    the better team won... be happy

  • shahid on September 29, 2012, 0:55 GMT

    All the Pakistani MAIN BATSMEN did their best to lose the match but AB de Villiers won over them all to present it to pakistan in a golden plate. Dumminy 2 overs for 5 runs and Botha 2 overs for 10 runs didn't get the ball while a mediocre Albie Morkel was given the ball.

  • shahid on September 29, 2012, 0:52 GMT

    UMAR GUL must find his line and length in bowling. We are happy that he did what others were meant to do but GUL must find his bowling touch which he is renowned for. It was a much better combination today although many fans would like Razzaq to be in the playing 11. Sohail Tanveer must not be broght back in the playing squad.

  • Shazia on September 28, 2012, 22:28 GMT

    Well done Umar and Gul. SA bowlers didn't bowl yorkers & that resulted in Gul to swing the ball well. While Pakistan won this match, most of us will forget the horrible mistakes that were made during the chase of relativly easy target. Nasir Jamshed showed that the so-called 'Miandad factor' is contributing not a 'BIT' in improving the batsmen's mindsets. The coaches and the staff are not helping the team to develop the mentality to read the game plan & execute accordingly. Kamran played a horrible shot... Afridi, I wonder how long it will take the management & the fans & Afridi to call it the 'Day'. Shoaib Malik-Mr.Experience, what worth he has in playing such innings? any first class batsman can perform better. He seriously has some good contacts to be in this team after all such performances. Razzaq is being wasted. The way Yasir/Tanvir are performing, Razzaq can easily beat them on the bowling form, not forgetting his much added value with the bat. Pakistan got lucky today!

  • m on September 28, 2012, 21:22 GMT


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