First-person reports from the stands
Choice of game
In my point of view, Super Eights are the star of this tournament. Pakistan v South Africa is always a good match to catch since they have a history of classic matches on the world stage: the 1999 World Cup and the 2009 World Twenty20 semi-final come to the mind. This one can be added to the list since it was a nail-biter.
Everyone was wondering whether Umar Gul would get to bowl since the spinners had South Africa in trouble. He came in the 18th over, got smacked for a six and dismissed AB de Villiers off his second ball. Then he came in to bat when Pakistan were 76 for 7. With Umar Akmal, he brought momentum to the innings and hit some of the biggest sixes of the day. His two back-to-back sixes showed he is confident while batting. The crowd went wild, to say the least.
Bags were checked twice and there were many cops around the ground. Despite the crowd dancing and singing, the security was enough tight enough to keep proceedings enjoyable and safe.
Since my arrival in Colombo, I've heard thunderstorms being predicted daily. However, to everyone's delight, conditions here were perfect for some T20 cricket.
The stadium was half full, and support for Pakistan overwhelmed the cheers for the South Africans. There were many neutrals who supported both teams. Sixes or wickets, the crowd was very involved in the game.
Marks out of 10
9. A low-scoring game that went down to the wire. South Africa fought back from 28 for 3 to post a respectable score. Pakistan had begun their chase brightly when the South African bowlers struck, after which the two brave Umars brought Pakistan back into the match when all hope was gone. The tournament needed a match like this.
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