South Africa v Pakistan, 1st T20, Johannesburg November 20, 2013

South Africa clinch narrow D/L win


South Africa 153 for 7 (de Kock 43) beat Pakistan 60 for 2 by four runs (D/L method)
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

After six weeks of tussling in the Arabian Desert, the South African and Pakistan teams would have been grateful for the freshness of rain. Just not on match day. South African skies burst to interrupt what seemed set to be the most competitive Twenty20 match between these two sides in the recent past and the hosts won by four runs, according to the Duckworth-Lewis method.

The host batsmen began like the fierce downpour which swept across the ground forty minutes before the scheduled start of play, but Pakistan pulled them back to little more than a drizzle. In reply, Pakistan built themselves up to a position from which they could have produced a storm themselves. But the real thing intervened before any of that was possible to deny the sizeable Wanderers crowd a potentially thrilling finish.

After being sent in, Hashim Amla and Quinton de Kock powered their way to 69 runs off the first seven overs, making Pakistan's decision to field first look questionable. Their seamers, including the experienced Sohail Tanvir - who has played regularly at this ground for the Lions - to the relatively new Anwar Ali, and even Junaid Khan, could not adapt to conditions. The bowlers sprayed the ball wide and their lengths were too full.

De Kock and Amla put on a fireworks display of aggressive shots in response. Amla spanked the ball through the covers, de Kock used his wrists to smoke the ball through the leg side. Runs rained from their bats even as debutant Bilawal Bhatti showed the first threat, inducing an outside-edge from de Kock, which scooted to the third-man boundary.

Pakistan had opted to leave out Saeed Ajmal, a choice which appeared to be wrong until Mohammad Hafeez brought himself on and enjoyed immediate success. Amla was bowled when he came forward to drive. De Kock followed him in Hafeez's next over, when he mis-hit a ball to long-on and Tanvir took a well-judged catch on the boundary.

Soon Shahid Afridi had Henry Davids cramped for room, prodding awkwardly only to be bowled, and Pakistan had taken three wickets for 15 runs. Afridi, bowling quicker than usual, did not concede a boundary in his spell. In the eight-over period in which Afridi and Hafeez bowled, the pair gave away only 32 runs.

Pakistan's main concern was the rest of the bowling. Bhatti's debut got better when he was brought back on and he bowled a back-of-a-length ball to dismiss JP Duminy for his first international wicket. Duminy pulled off the front foot but got it only as far as midwicket where Hafeez took the catch falling forward.

David Miller countered that length better, sending Bhatti over the scoreboard for the only six of the innings and ensured South Africa finished fairly strongly. They scored 46 runs off the last five overs but Pakistan would still have been satisfied with their efforts. From 9.8 runs an over in the first seven, Pakistan allowed a rate of 6.46 through the next 13 and had a realistic chance at a successful chase.

Pakistan's reply began fortuitously, with five wides from Lonwabo Tsotsobe but soon settled. Ahmed Shehzad started in a manner befitting his ranking as the leading T20 run-getter this year, flicking Dale Steyn down to fine leg and cracking the bowler over point. He grew over-confident when he tried to run the ball behind point but was foxed by extra bounce from Tsotsobe and played on.

Mohammad Hafeez negotiated a Dale Steyn over which ended with the Pakistan captain timing a full ball past mid-on. Nasir Jamshed seemed to settle in the same way, when he pulled Morne Morkel in front of square, but was surprised by the extra bounce and played a couple of nervy edges which went for four.

His stay at the crease ended when he pushed at Duminy's third ball and the offspinner stretched full length to take the return catch. Pakistan promoted Umar Akmal to No.4 but he was at the crease for just 10 balls before the heavens opened to leave Pakistan wondering what could have been.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on November 23, 2013, 4:08 GMT

    These three 1.Nasir Jamshed 2.Umar Amin 3.Sohail Tanveer should be replaced.

  • Dummy4 on November 22, 2013, 12:40 GMT

    sohail tanveer and umar amin should be replaced because they are not performing after grabbing so many chances

  • Dummy4 on November 22, 2013, 2:20 GMT

    pakistan wont win because it is not a good team anymore

  • Dummy4 on November 21, 2013, 20:08 GMT

    For t20 you should have included Taufeeq Umar he;s your best t20 performer in domestics and his batting statistics stand out from all players you have in your current international team by great margin so his selection will be very good for pakistan t20 team insha allah I am not making up just look at his t20 batting figures.If was part of selection his selection for me would have been an instant click insha allah

  • Steve on November 21, 2013, 18:39 GMT

    No matter what the circumstances are, SA is going to win over Pak in this series. SA is just too good for Pak as the results prove. Pak should give chance to new players since the so called established players failed badly thus far.

  • Dummy4 on November 21, 2013, 17:22 GMT

    Pakistan will not win ODI's with only 3 batsman in squad: Misbah-ul-Haq , Maqsood & U Akmal. You need more then that to win any ODI matches, thus either bring in quick replacements i.e Azhar Ali, Khurram Manzoor, Fawad Alam for batting line-up . Don;t tell me i didn't inform you earlier about your another series loss this would be 3rd against SA within few weeks , i am ashamed are you not? i think not as you are again playing mediocre selections.Your best chance is your bowlers get them out within 180 otherwise your chances are severely dull for winning any ODI's or there's another option your opponents leave out their Best players and play with inexperienced new players to test against this side, in one way sympathy for pakistan team and another for checking there new talent. i don't like making jokes about serious things however when it's about pak team selection i don;t even have to try making jokes; its pretty much already quite a serious joke.Testing bowlers instead of batsman's.

  • Ata on November 21, 2013, 17:19 GMT

    Well, can't understand few guy here, who think Afridi should be dropped because he performs once in 10 matches. and then they say Nasir jamshed should be given chance who even not performing for last 20 matches, and if you combine T20, tests, and ODI , almost 30 matches this year, and his performance is zero. and you guys still judge Afridi's performance as a batsmen? he is consistently performing as a bowler. For last few series, in every series he is getting one man of the match. Here, one guy praising Nasir and raising question why he can not score 200 against Zimbabwe... my dear, he can not score 50 and you want him to score 200. and your cricketing sense?, that you want to prove Nasir a good batsmen by comparing him to Afridi batting... I once again say, Nasir and Umer Amin are flop, mediocre, and big parchi. No other player have got chance like they are getting continuously. and I hope they fail again tomorrow.

  • Irfan on November 21, 2013, 16:50 GMT

    Very disappointed with Hafeez opting not to bat. Seems he got scared the moment he saw grass on the pitch... may be he forgot he's not in UAE. But he doesn't know his own team's strength which is bowling not batting. This just shows lack of a cricketing mind plain and simple. He's no captain material, let alone whether he can make the sqad or not.

  • Dummy4 on November 21, 2013, 16:07 GMT

    Pakistan were unlucky to lose SA in this t20.this time Bowlers let and fielding placing let them down particularly in first six overs.again Sohail Tanweer was pathetic and yet the management keep picking in the Team sa weakness is playing against spin.pick My team would consist of these player. Nasir . Shezad.Misbah.Akmal.Maqssd.Amin..Afridi.Bilwal.Anwar .Saeed.Junaid

  • Dummy4 on November 21, 2013, 16:04 GMT

    Pakistan team will not win if they do not include new batsmen................

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