Pakistan v South Africa, 1st Twenty20, Dubai November 13, 2013

Steyn gets his man again

Plays of the day from the first T20 between Pakistan and South Africa in Dubai

Hashim Amla takes a stunner

Quick reactions from an unlikely suspect
It wasn't AB de Villiers, Faf du Plessis, David Miller or JP Duminy - one of the South Africans with the ability to move on instinct - who was stationed at slip. Instead, it was Hashim Amla who was asked to do the job, in the absence of a regular slip fielder such as Graeme Smith or Henry Davids. He may not have expected he'd be made to work in the first over but when Ahmed Shehzad drove without dancing, he was. Amla had to move quickly to his left to take the catch. He showed he could do the job as well as any of the more agile members of the team and safely grabbed the first wicket.

Boom Boom arrives
What to do at 0 for 1 inside the first over? Send in the man who sees the ball's only purpose as a punching bag and wants to hit it as far as he can no matter what the situation. Perhaps the thinking behind promoting Shahid Afridi was to give their biggest hitter maximum time at the crease. Whatever it was, Boom Boom strode in at No. 3 to rapturous applause but didn't get the chance to do much before this happened...

Steyn gets his man
It could be a comedy skit, one of those that repeats over and over again and is funny simply because it happens so often. Mohammad Hafeez versus Dale Steyn and only one winner. Steyn had already got rid of Sohaib Maqsood and his eye lit up when he saw his old friend arrive at the crease. Hafeez managed to defend the first one but could not control the second. Without moving his feet, he offered a simple catch to Quinton de Kock. Steyn celebrated with his usual fierceness, Hafeez hung his head and that made it the 12th time in 18 innings Steyn had his man.

Malik makes a mess of it
As if Pakistan had not been embarrassed enough by their start, Shoaib Malik ensured they'd also have something to blush about in the middle order. He walked down the track to Imran Tahir, who pitched the ball so far outside off, it was called wide, and could not get back to his crease in time to avoid being stumped.

And it went wrong in the field as well
Pakistan had the opportunity to cause early damage to South Africa when Amla chased the first ball he was presented with. He edged off Hafeez and sent the catch Maqsood's way. He was at first slip and seemed to be caught by surprise by the chance. He hardly moved and let Amla get off the mark and South Africa's chase underway.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on November 14, 2013, 23:53 GMT

    ODI's selection with surety i can say 100% is biased looking at the statistics its just not on merit so failure is expected , but t20 selection is better as players with little technique & less consistency can still have good enough average for t20 or players who can hit hard can get few runs on the board quickly and that makes them good enough for t20. But ODI's team selection is a JOKE as all players having good average in domestic cricket are ignored and out of nowhere people with influence in PCB having poor batting averages are played & introduced into ODI's. Though there's still people like Taufeeq Umar who has best average in T20's of 42 with strike rate of 124 is ignored and players with batting averages close to 20-25's are preferred over him in the T20 format. Few players in t20 are Taufeeq Umar 42,Hasan Raza 32,Shahzaib Hasan 29,Asif Ali 29 and Misbah-ul-Haq off course having the best average of 38 with sr110 in t20 format compared to all players in team (LEGEND). :D

  • Dummy4 on November 14, 2013, 22:16 GMT

    Firstly Drop Hafeez he is useless ( you play hafeez steyn will kick his ass yet again or play him at number 11 only as a bowler if you want him in the team ) .. The best 11 which can cope up with SA attack can be : 1. Ahmed Shahzad 2 .jamshed 3 . Razzaq 4 , Shoaib . 5 Umar akmal 6 .malik 7 Afridi , 8 tanvir 9 irfan 10 ajmal 11 junaid

  • ESPN on November 14, 2013, 12:39 GMT

    players were playing for thier spot and bad captancy by hafeez y sent afridi up the order he is not gud with bat any more

  • Zohaib on November 14, 2013, 10:37 GMT

    when good players like Fawad Alam & Sami Aslam (the young talent) are out of the team, please don't expect the team to perform with the same old players!

  • Dummy4 on November 14, 2013, 7:22 GMT

    Wow. Expected that type of criticism. In my opinion, we are not selecting the right team. We just go by reputation or change abruptly. There should be a consistency even in dropping a player. Ball was only swinging and it's not a rare sight for a quality batsman to see the ball moving. They cope with it. If not with technique then with grit and determination. So there is not enough emphasis on the technique or determination, clearly. Secondly if both are present then we lack mental strength. Rest everything is fine. It's a game and worst things happen so there's no need to be hyper. If we had selectors on merit we wouldn't have seen this time. Because Pakistan has the most talent in cricket than anywhere in the world, it's a fact.

  • Muhammad Akram on November 14, 2013, 5:49 GMT

    @SyedArbabAhmed: God helps those who help themselves

  • Kathy on November 14, 2013, 5:34 GMT

    Before you chuck out this batsman or that batsman, or give up on the whole Pakistani team, have you thought perhaps the Proteas' bowling lineup may be very strong? Maybe too strong for ANY batting lineup around today? Steyn the Remover is their arrow-point, but he is well backed up by a number of very good bowlers in their own right, including Imran Tahir (?!!). There's good reason that Pakistan is the No 1 20-20 team ... they didn't get there through a couple of lucky wins. Yesterday was a poor performance, yes, but the Protea Test team is also No 1 in Tests and also sometimes make a mess of a game or two. Let's see what Friday brings.

  • Atif on November 14, 2013, 4:57 GMT

    What abt this combination for ODIs & T20s .....

    Openers: Sami Aslam*/Sharjeel Khan/Khurram Manzoor Middle Order: Khalid Latif/Sohaib Maqsood/Babar Azam/Haris Sohail All Rounders : Kamran Ghulam/Anwar Ali WK : M.Rizwan Spinners: Zafar Gohar/Raza Hassan Pacers : Sadaf Hussain/Ehsan Adil/Nasir Malik

  • Steve on November 14, 2013, 3:26 GMT

    From now on, Pak should never play Hafeez if Styen plays for SA. As I mentioned before, Styen has cast his unwavering spell on Hafeez. On a more serious note, Pak has got is team selection wrong. Malik and Razzaq are past their prime (shouldn't have been recalled in the first place), Tanvir is done too. I request Pak selectors to invest completely in youth from now on. In about a year or so, you will build a solid team, rather than a patched up one like now that doesn't deliver results.