Pakistan v South Africa, 1st semi-final

World Twenty20, 2009

At Nottingham, June 18 (floodlit). Pakistan won by seven runs. Toss: Pakistan.

Shahid Afridi had been all but written off as a batting power before this match after some scratchy efforts, but when it counted he came in at No. 3 - surely the ideal place for him in a 20-over contest, rather than being kept back for the final overs - and bossed the innings. Not that he exactly played himself in: after watching a high bouncer (called a wide) from Parnell sail past, he smacked the next ball over mid-on for four. Once he really got his eye in he pulled Kallis for two fours in an over, then blasted Botha out of the attack with four successive fours - three lofted inside-out over the covers followed by a delicate late cut. Afridi, who put on 67 with Shoaib Malik, was suckered by Duminy's first ball after galloping to 51 from 33 balls, but he had done enough to ensure a par score. Then he took the ball. Afridi whistled one through Gibbs, and next over repeated the dose to castle de Villiers, the ball after he was put down by the wicketkeeper. From then on Pakistan held a firm grip, loosened only slightly when Younis Khan perplexingly gave Fawad Alam his first bowl of the tournament in the 15th over and his loopy left-armers went for 15. The slow start by South Africa against pace, including the 17-year-oldMohammad Aamer, had left them with too much to do against Pakistan's spinners. Again South Africa had found the penultimate step on the staircase too tricky.

Man of the Match: Shahid Afridi. Attendance: 15,902.

© John Wisden & Co.