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Feature

Miller's mantra, Pakistan's clerical error

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

Hashim Amla yorked himself in spectacular fashion  •  Associated Press

Hashim Amla yorked himself in spectacular fashion  •  Associated Press

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