South Africa v Pakistan, 2nd Twenty20, Centurion March 3, 2013

Hafeez, Gul demolish South Africa


Pakistan 195 for 7 (Hafeez 86, Kleinveldt 2-27) beat South Africa 100 (De Villiers 36, Gul 5-6) by 95 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Mohammed Hafeez and Umar Gul turned their tour around to take Pakistan to an emphatic victory and leapfrog three places on the ICC rankings to No.3. With the Durban match rained out, Pakistan also claimed the series and a piece of silverware to go along with the bragging rights.

With no Dale Steyn to contend with, Hafeez played with freedom and confidence. He became the first Pakistan batsmen to 1,000 Twenty20 runs and notched up his highest score in the format. Timing, placement and an 83-run stand with Ahmed Shehzad helped him set Pakistan up.

Gul showed no such subtlety. In the space of six balls, he took four wickets to kneecap South Africa and end the contest. Good lengths to desperate batsmen were his razor blade and he sliced through with precision. Hafeez landed even more telling blows with ball in hand but it was Gul who ensured South Africa were bowled out inside 13 overs and thoroughly outplayed.

South Africa's attack showed little of the same discipline and they were flayed from almost the very beginning. New captain Faf du Plessis battled with the over-rate, the ineffectiveness of his spinners and a more aggressive approach from Pakistan.

Nasir Jamshed and Ahmed Shehzad began positively with Shehzad settling in quickly. He pounced on width, the overpitched delivery and the short one to create a launchpad.

Jamshed was hampered by what looked like a hand niggle and could not take off with Shehzad. But his dismissal was the tonic for Pakistan. After he holed out to mid-on, the South African fielders made the mistake that cost them when they missed a double opportunity to run Shehzad out. Hafeez cut the ball to du Plessis at point and Shehzad had charged all the way up to his end. Du Plessis' throw missed the non-strikers' stumps but went to mid-on, where Justin Ontong had enough time to run Shehzad out but also missed.

Shehzad accepted the invite to capitalise and displayed power and placement in equal quantities. He launched Chris Morris over long-off as an example of the former and beat du Plessis, arguably the most agile fielder around, by opening the face of his bat to guide a slower ball for four in an elegant showing of the latter.

Both he and Hafeez found the gaps easily and threaded the ball through fielders. The area behind short fine leg and backward point was a favourite and they scored nine boundaries there between them. When they were at the crease, the run-rate remained above 10 an over and a massive total was in sight.

Shehzad eventually fell on his sword when he was run-out but Hafeez continued aggressively with Ontong and cow corner his new target. He nailed it three times in the 14th over to bring up his highest T20 score and set himself up for a century.

With the time and the confidence to get there, it seemed nothing would stop Hafeez except himself. In a bizarre twist, he slid onto his stumps as he smashed a Rory Kleinveldt ball over the covers and was out hit wicket.

That sparked a mini collapse for Pakistan. They lost four wickets in the space of 19 balls as South Africa's death bowling showed improvement. Little did they know that they would have to make up for the inadequacies of their batsmen as well.

With a storm brewing, South Africa began in a hurry. AB de Villiers' move to opening the batting appeared to pay off as not even Henry Davids' early departure unsettled him. He was innovative in his strokeplay and even brought out his own version of the Dilscoop but he had no support at the other end.

In one over, Gul derailed South Africa as he had du Plessis caught behind (despite Kamran Akmal fumbling), Chris Morris who was promoted to No.4 was caught at third man going after going for a big shot and Ontong out lbw. At 51 for 4, even if there was weather waiting, it did not matter.

De Villiers played on off Mohammed Irfan and Farhaan Berhardien was caught at point to sink South Africa further. It was only a matter of time after that and it did not take very long. Kleinveldt had some fun off Hafeez but holed out to deep extra cover and Robin Peterson's attempt at a switch hit did not work as he was caught at short fine leg.

Fittingly, Gul took the last wicket when Kyle Abbott top-edged to end South Africa's feeble chase and become the highest wicket-taker in T20 cricket. At the halfway stage, Pakistan's total of 195 seemed to be 20 short, more because of the rate they were hurtling along at than the conditions, but their bowlers ensured it was more than enough.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on March 6, 2013, 17:36 GMT

    @Yasir Faruqi and @Bilal Raza, I also felt after the fall of six wickets with the vital contribution of Umar Gul, Hafeez should have given Umar Gul at least one more over before changing him, but it is NOT necessary that he became a little selfish. We should keep all the possible scenarios in our mind. After humiliation in test matches, victory in the T20 series became very important to get some pride back. On the ground, he may have become too occupied in making Pakistan win the match to pay attention to Umar Gul's any possible new record. He also may have thought the game was still not over after the fall of seven wickets and kept Umra Gul's overs for any possible crucial situation. After the fall of 9 wickets, still he appeared to be wanting Shahid Afridi to bowl instead of Gul, but changed his decision when someone pointed it out. One possible reason for doing so is that again he may have become too occupied in Pakistan's victory to remember what Umar Gul deserved at that point.

  • Dummy4 on March 6, 2013, 16:39 GMT

    @ likeintcricket, thanks for replying, but we are still not 100% sure if any other test playing team has ever bowled out in just 12.2 overs or less in a T20 international. Even though South Africans had managed to score 100 runs in those overs, it will still be an interesting world record for both South Africa and Pakistan if this was never happened before. I am asking again: Can someone please tell me if there is any other test playing team who was bowled out in just 12.2 hours or less in T20 before?

  • Peter on March 5, 2013, 23:25 GMT

    I have said many times before but it bears repeating. This should finally justify the argument there is NO correlation between test form and one day form. The argument about one day form as a criteria for test selection has always been flawed & if the NZ & Pakistan examples aren't proof enough, then I am at a loss what would satisfy those pundits. That said, good effort form the Pakistanis.

  • Dummy4 on March 5, 2013, 21:34 GMT

    @Bilal Raza I'm sorry you feel that way about Hafeez. I wouldn't say he is a great cricketer but he has been good for Pakistan for the past few years. Obviously he had issues with Steyn but then most Pakistan batsmen when they go to bouncy pitches have the same issues, even the great ones. Regarding his captaincy Hafeez does open the bowling but only when either both openers are left-handed or one of them is weak against him (which Tamim Iqbal was in one of the previous series). SA opened with two right handers and when he came on to bowl it was due to the fact that Peterson and Miller were both left handed. Yes he could have given Gul another over but he chose to save Gul for the end just in case a partnership was formed.

  • Dummy4 on March 5, 2013, 18:30 GMT

    I have found Hafeez very selfish captain. He was too scared to open the bowling attack (something he has frequently done under other captains because he is influential with new ball) and gave South Africa ideal start with A.B DeVilliers hitting fast bowlers all over the place. Still, he could not muster up the courage to bowl. He, then introduced Gul who is notoriously good at Gul-dozing and did it quite successfully yet again by taking several wickets one after another. Hafeez then realizing that South Africa were almost out of the game and Gul was rising to win the man of match award by taking 4 wickets, replaced Gul and came himself to bowl in a situation when wickets were easier to come by. He shrewdly took 3 wickets and offered Shahid Afridi to bowl from the other end by saying "Lala Ajao" which means Afridi come and bowl, instead of calling Gul who had already taken 4 wickets. However, Afridi himself favoured Gul. Eventually Gul came and got his 5th wicket but Hafeez still won.

  • Yasir on March 5, 2013, 15:01 GMT

    Gull is a no good test bowler..He should be allowed to play in T20 & ODI's only..

  • Cricket on March 5, 2013, 8:36 GMT

    There is a big debate on this blog about the inexperienced SA team in the T20 game. Even I had pointed out the same. BUT LET ME CLEARIFY MY STAND. I personally do not think that in T20 SA are unbeatable. I agree that in T20 Pakistan is a better side. What I meant was that had the players not been rested, the contest would have been really tough and exciting to watch and the result could have been anything. .

  • Cricket on March 5, 2013, 8:32 GMT

    @ Solid_Snake --> You are right about the inexperienced team getting beaten. But frankly speaking whatever team Pakistan chose to play was their best team according to the selectors and captain. They did not rest or roatate any player. Whereas the case is different in case of SA where the Amla chose to stay away from T20 cricket, Smith had ealier decided to stay away from T20 & Kallis, styen were rested. Morkel was the only one who was forced out because of injury.

    So in a way Pakistan did not have any better players. Also Pakistan did not use the home series in UAE very well to groom new fast bowlers. They just to stuck Gul at one end and rotated Riaz, Tanvir, Cheema & Junaid at the other end. Thus giviing little opportunity to the younger boys to settle in. I say that this gamble has failed badly because Gul's average is continuesly falling. Time to move beyond Gul in Test matches. Regarding Batting none of the younsters had seen such pitches or coditions before. .

  • Cricket on March 5, 2013, 7:08 GMT

    No news upto now about Ahmed Shehzad. It appears that he is not being retained for the ODI series. Sad. Now Pak will have Younis Khan, Misbah, U.Akmal/Afridi & Kamran in the middle order. While SA team will be bolstered by the return of Smith, Amla, Kallis, Styen & Morkel.


  • Yasir on March 5, 2013, 6:40 GMT

    @alipk52->When Pak goes with all inexperienced players & gets defeated.Then comes the never ending praises for SA team.But when same goes for SA,then people say ohh it was an inexperienced SA team so no worries..As if PCB requested SA to bring in a young team to let Pak win lol..

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