Pakistan v South Africa, 1st ODI, Sharjah October 31, 2013

Tsotsobe double-strike was turning point - de Villiers

ESPNcricinfo staff

AB de Villiers, the South Africa ODI captain, has said Lonwabo Tsotsobe's two wickets in two balls made the side believe they were in with a chance of defending 183 against Pakistan in the first ODI in Sharjah. Tsotsobe had Umar Amin caught behind off the last ball of the 41st over, then dismissed Sohail Tanvir off the first delivery of the 43rd to reduce Pakistan to 174 for 7.

"Turning points? I was very happy to get Misbah out but I didn't think that was the main wicket," AB de Villiers said. "It was the start, but the two wickets in two balls which Lopsy took, that was when I really started believing we could win."

In between those two strikes, South Africa also picked up the wicket of dangerous Umar Akmal, who, as per AB de Villiers, was one of the two critical wickets, along with Shahid Afridi, South Africa were after.

"When those two were together, I thought they'll either win it in a couple of overs or both get out, but they'll both give you chances," de Villiers said. "I said to Graeme at slip: 'We're not out of this game, we could win this...'

"I always thought if we could get them four-down then we could get guys like Akmal and Afridi quickly, too, if we bowled well. That's what happened tonight and suddenly the tailenders were at the crease and we had a chance to win the game."

Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq said he did not understand that his batsmen were thinking as he watched the innings crumble from the dressing room. "The last six batsmen should have batted, knowing how many runs were needed to score. It is very disappointing that they played very irresponsible shots," he said. "I think it is high time players understand how to play under such situations.

"I think we could say that my dismissal and then those of Amin and Umar were crucial, and after that Afridi was left alone and we wanted him to stay there till the end. We just needed two runs an over and one-and-half runs per over and I don't know what was going through the batsmen's mind, maybe, they over-relaxed a little bit."

With Pakistan just seven away from a win, South Africa snapped the other big wicket, Afridi, who toe-ended a pull off a long hop to the fielder at deep midwicket. Pakistan were eight down and South Africa sensed a chance.

"We were going to fight until the bitter end, but statistics would tell you that we probably had 0.1% chance of winning the game," de Villiers said. "But those two wickets - suddenly there was a tailender at one end and when you have a bowler like Imran who can turn the ball both ways then you are always in with a chance of a wicket."

The last two wickets added five more runs and the Pakistan innings closed a run short of South Africa's total.

De Villiers added the win could be the boost that would help turn the team's batting woes too. "I can't put my finger on it - except that we're not scoring runs or getting partnerships going," he said. "Sometimes you need something strange to happen, a win like this to turn things around for you. I'm not sure it was conditions tonight, though - it was a bit of a freak show tonight."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Muhammad on November 1, 2013, 6:10 GMT

    @Khurram S Chaudhry: I was talking about this series in particular where spinners have a role to play. Pakistan doesn't have a decent third seamer apart from Junaid and Irfan. Playing a third seamer here is a waste of space. Umar Amin can bowl a few overs here and there and Hafeez is a complete bowler. If it is necessary to play 3 fast bowlers, drop Afridi. If we can't drop him, then we will have to play him at the cost of a specialist batsman which I am afraid Afridi is not at all.

  • ick on October 31, 2013, 21:33 GMT

    @Jaashky: The positive attitude is what a Captain, if he has, transmitts to his team mates with having confidence in the players. Misbah is dictating them to just stop and not play their natural game. You people are blaming batting line up, I can bet you that if Virat Kohli plays under Misbah, he will never be able to score even a fifty. Misbah has never been able to score a ODI century in his whole career coz he can not do it in 50 overs, he needs 90-100 overs to score a century. Afridi was a good Captain, who took Pak to semi Finals in last World cup, only to see defeat coz of Akmal's dropping of 5 easiest cathes and Misbah's turtle like test matchTUK TUK batting. He is already over the hill and with his age and approach, he can not survive till 2015 WC. We have to make a Captain for 2015 WC NOW.

  • Grant on October 31, 2013, 20:53 GMT

    As a South African I cannot understand Pakistan fans' problems with Afridi and Misbah. If you really want them gone we would happily trade them against Colin Ingram and Faf if we could. Since you already gave us Imran Tahir we really should throw Robin Peterson in as part of the deal.

  • Asim on October 31, 2013, 20:45 GMT

    I think for the last 10 innings of Afridi (I may be exaggerating due to frustration), he has been getting out the same exact way. Place a fielder at the deep midwicket boundary, bowl a short ball, and wait for catching practice. If you have a weakness, a normal person would get rid of the weakness. An idiot (Afridi) will keep trying the same thing again and again and hope for a different result.

  • Muhammad on October 31, 2013, 20:12 GMT

    @ICKY. I don't understand what positive attitude actually means, Is Ahmed Shehzad positive? who plays with strike rate of 57 58 or Hafeez who has a strike rate of 68? Shahid Afridi do have strike rate of over 100 but what gud this strike rate is if he can not wik a match where 19 is needed.

    This positive attitude etc. is nothing but a jealousy and hatred towards Misbah for achieving what Afridi and Hafeez can't even in their dreams.

  • Dummy4 on October 31, 2013, 19:43 GMT

    One thing i want to say is that Pakistan cricket team you can never make a cricket match boring .Having said that the most disappointed i am with is afridi not because he got out but the way he got out it was a long hop seriously i could have hit it out of the ground.the other one is amin no feet moment please bat akmal at no3 .

    My team for next match would be 1.Shezad 2. Hafeez 3. Akmal 4.Misbah 5. Maqsood 6.shafiq 7.Afridi 8.Junaid 9.Ajmal 10.Wahaab 11.Irfan

    Technically i would love to play Hammad azam at 6 but you have to make peace with what you have

  • Dummy4 on October 31, 2013, 19:05 GMT

    People of Pakistan want Afridi to be in the team, then people of Pakistan should stop dreaming of Pakistan's bilteral ODI win against South Africa.

  • ick on October 31, 2013, 19:01 GMT

    Pakistan just needs a capable Captain with a positive attitude. Rest of the problems would be solved automatically. For God sake Misbah uncle, please hang up your gloves and have mercy on 180 Million Pakistanis and millions of other fans who used to love Pakistan's cricket team. Now I am requesting Misbah to step down from limited overs cricket, coz I know the selection committee is a rubber stampand would not take a decision. Please Misbah...

  • Dummy4 on October 31, 2013, 18:39 GMT

    @Posted by mzm149 on (October 31, 2013, 10:05 GMT: your formula of playing afridi in bottom 4 and playing a batsman at 7 will only work where pak can go with only 2 fast bowlers. it can not work where they want 3 fast bowlers as ajmal will always be there. Afridi is not in team for only his bowling.

  • Dummy4 on October 31, 2013, 18:29 GMT

    @Major85D: bro answer to your comments is there in your comment itself when you wrote " we had players like inzamam, saeed anwar, mohammad yousuf, waqar younis, imran khan and wasim akram."

    we dont have such players now. put it on bad selection or ignoring the top performers in domestic circuit but the fact is that our new generation is not that good. ( or at least the young players we are testing right now ) . being talented is not enough really. In this match there are 3 example nasir, umar akmal & much talked umar amin.

    we have tried a number of young bowlers in past 2-3 years. apart from junaid you can not say that Mr A or B is of same class as wasim & Waqar ( even Junaid is not that much of wicket taker in ODIs & no way near wasim & waqar)

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