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

Miller's mantra, Pakistan's clerical error

Plays of the Day from the first Twenty20 between South Africa and Pakistan, in Johannesburg

The clerical gaffe
When the team sheets were handed out, shortly after the toss had been completed, Junaid Khan was listed as the 13th man. It seemed a strange decision for Pakistan to leave out one of their premier seamers on a surface that should provide something for the bowlers. Moments later the team took the field with Junaid among them. Saeed Ajmal was the man left out, a more sensible strategy considering Pakistan were unlikely to need three spinners in their arsenal.

The shot
Junaid was brought on in the fifth over but struggled to find his length at first - too short- and then his line - too far outside off. When he erred in both departments, a wide, full toss, Quinton de Kock charged him and flat batted the ball straight down the ground for four.

The wicket
All four of Pakistan's pacemen took a pasting and they only saw some success when Mohammad Hafeez brought himself on. Hashim Amla, misreading the fuller length and slower pace, yorked himself in spectacular fashion. His offstump was uprooted to give Pakistan their first wicket.

The Miller mantra
De Kock perished trying to hit the first six of the innings so it was up to South Africa's biggest hitter to do that. David Miller provided a real life demonstration of his now-famous mantra. "If it's in the arc, it's out the park," his dad told him as a youngster. When Bilawal Bhatti bowled a touch too short and exactly in Miller's arc, the left-hand batsman launched him over midwicket, literally out of the park. The ball sailed over the open stands, hit the scoreboard and dipped into the trees behind it.

The body blow
After his early pasting, Junaid showed far greater commitment to drying the runs up. He manfully accepted being hit in the instep when Miller sent a low full toss flying back to him. Another bowler may have lifted his foot out of the way but Junaid let his stay at ground level to save three runs. That brave decision is sure to be the source of a bruise tomorrow morning.

The mis-hit
Nasir Jamshed got a leading edge off Morne Morkel which looped over point and raced away for four. But it was two balls later that he would really have been surprised by how far the ball can fly at altitude, when an edge off an attempted pull carried over the keeper's head and almost over the boundary.

The bad timing
The rain had stayed away following the pre-match downpour, but it returned as though it had been informed the scheduled close was 9pm. As the hour approached, a rumble of thunder exploded over the stadium. It sounded so perfect, the crowd cheered as they thought it was a sound effect. There could be no mistake what was to come when a flash of lightning appeared, though, and the air suddenly grew colder. On cue, from the back of the main stand, a fresh shower arrived.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • dummy4fb on November 21, 2013, 17:21 GMT

    Hafeez and Umar Akmal are responsible for the loss. They should have kept an eye on the weather and the scoreboard. We are running out of excuses for Hafeez and the other older players to be in the team. They need to exit like Razzak and Malik.

  • GlobalCricketLover on November 21, 2013, 11:21 GMT

    C'mon Firdoose, no need for too much masala. The ball that Miller hit, actually fell back towards spectators...one even tried to catch it.

  • dummy4fb on November 21, 2013, 10:28 GMT

    Some are saying that SA was lucky yesterday from Nature but this doesn't count. Why not Hafeez / Akmal try to pusk PAK beyond the line of PAR score. Hafeez is the captain of side, he could atleast follow the correct calculations.

  • Pak_Guru on November 21, 2013, 9:02 GMT

    SA were quite lucky yesterday, 154 with super fast outfield and Pak having batsmen till No. 10.... Good to see Pak atleast gave them a fight. It was a splendid fight back to restrict SA. Looking forward to the next match, Ajmal will play in place of Anwar, when actually Amin should be left out. Believe me guys this same Totsobe would have the worst time of his life when he bowls to the Indians soon, a mediocre bowler like him can only get respect from a weak and short of confidence batting line up. Just remember my words the Indians will give him nightmares.

  • dummy4fb on November 20, 2013, 21:23 GMT

    Well done Proteas and well done David Miller for rescuing it when the middle order failed against spin. That six was far enough for me. He's got real power in those arms. Are those gym-arms or from wood-axing? Tsotsobe's 4 overs were also excellent.

    If I were Pakistan I would've gone with the 4 spinners rather than what their seamers offered up. How can anyone leave out Asjmal anyway? He is superb. Kudo's also to Pakistan's catching during those middle overs. That was good.

    Thank you SABC for doing something useful with our money for a change, that was entertaining.

  • SurlyCynic on November 20, 2013, 21:10 GMT

    It's a joke that Miller only got to face 11 balls at the Wanderers, a ground and pitch that is perfect for him. Faf and Duminy wasted too many balls, then Morkel tried to go for glory instead of getting a single to give the strike to Miller.

  • dummy4fb on November 20, 2013, 20:53 GMT

    and the attitude which steyn showed toward hafeez was rude i though cricket is a gentlemen game

  • dummy4fb on November 20, 2013, 19:47 GMT

    "The ball sailed over the open stands, hit the scoreboard and dipped into the trees behind it. " If i and commentators are not mistaken, the ball bounced back to the crowds after hitting the board.

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